Stair Climbing

Hi A few months ago we completed a house extension which means that we now have a downstairs bedroom and wet room which is fab. In line with this our daughter moved into our old upstairs bedroom and out of her smaller bedroom, again that’s fab. The downside is that I don’t have to climb the stairs so often. I do tend to go up once a week or so to clean the bathroom, tidy the children’s bedrooms (which they actually keep pretty tidy themselves anyway), but once a week or so is quite different from doing it every day to have to go to bed. I wasn’t that good at stairs anyway but I feel that my ability to do them is rapidly declining, as well as my confidence at tackling them in the first place. So my question is, should I force myself to climb the stairs once a day anyway, will this help me to maintain stair climbing for longer, or is it just giving me a difficult job to do every day which I don’t particularly enjoy doing and there will be no long term benefit. In terms of bed and washing I don’t need to get upstairs so no pressure on me there but I do like to clean the house and I know no one else will clean the bathroom (not as well as I do anyway, lol). Also, would I help myself any just by standing at the bottom of th stairs and trying to step onto the bottom stair a few time. Anyone any thoughts. Thanks. Cheryl:-)

Standing on the bottom step with just your toes - and lowering your heels - stretches the calf muscles and is a good exercise.

But tumbling down the stairs Cheryl - is not recommended. l manage to vacuum my stairs by sitting on my stair-lift and gradually work my way down. l also carry the washing up and down on the stairlift - Rollators at the ready top and bottom of stairs. lts ok - but l do know the feeling - you don’t want to have to give up doing it. Could always try coming down sat on your bottom.

Don’t let your family think you don’t go up stairs- they might just not keep it tidy knowing you are doing an ‘inspection’.

Look after yourself - we don’t want you to be a ‘fallen woman’.

I’m getting my stair lift fitted next week. I was quite reluctant as I wanted to keep going as long as possible. When my OT came out to do an assessment I said this to her. She looked at me very sternly and said “but safety is more important!” I suppose this is true but like you I do worry that I’ll lose the ability.

Sarah x

Sarah, l have had a stairlift for about 25yrs - for years l just stood on the footplate not on the seat - it was my way of trying to look as if l did not really need it. They are brilliant - and allow me to do all sorts of things l could not before. And they still work when we have a power cut as they are ‘battery powered’. The battery charges everytime you use it.


Hi thanks Sarah and Frances, good idea about the exercise on the bottom stair, I could certainly try that, Another thing is I tend to sit down when I get to the top so need to have a chair ready (just a normal chair out of one of the children’s room). Yes, a good idea to come down on my bottom, I’ve done that before, I’m not really worried about falling down the stairs tbh because I tend to just sit down! I do tell my family that I go up to do inspections, and so far they have kept it very tidy. My twelve year old son is a very tidy person so will be ok with him, my eight year old, not quite so much so but not too bad. A stairlift is an idea but wouldn’t get funding for one and not sure if it’s worth spending money on one when I don’t need to go up the stairs all the time.

Hi Cheryl, I havent been up our stairs for 10 years!

Our gaff is a bungalow with a loft conversion. So downstairs is our bedroom and wet room.

When my carer sleeps over once a week, my hubby goes upstairs to sleep.

When family come to stay, they use upstairs.

I know it wont be cleaned the way I used to do it, but now and then hubby cleans it!

Your safety DOES come first hun! I do understand your concern about losing the strength in your legs if you dont climb the stairs. So, as you said, just go up and down the bottom 2 steps to exercise…sounds good to me.

luv Pollx

Hi Cheryl,

i had a stairlift fit last year,and use it pretyy much all the time,but when i feel not as bad i do use the stairs, just for a bit of excercise really.i only do it a few times a week though,as it knocks it out of me,what i find good for my leg strangth is my excercise bike,i can only go on it for 5 minutes a time,every other day,but i do feel its important,to try and keep some mobility,becasue i havent walked out side the house in a few years now.

jaki xx

Poll, well done to your hubby on cleaning the upstairs, I’m sure he does a fab job. Jaki, that is a good idea about a bike, i think for now I’m going to have to make time a few times week to make myself climb the stairs, even if I just do the bottom stair a few times. Cheryl:-)

were hoping to get a stair lift my husband finds it hard coming downstaires,more than going up x christine

I moved to a flat a couple of years ago and can’t deny the absence of stairs has made life easier. However, my walking has deteriorated a fair bit in that time (apart from progression) and I am sure ability to lift the leg improves with repeated stepping. I now make sure stepping is included as part of my gym routine and starting to notice some benefit.

Your suggestion of using the bottom step is a good one and avoids the peril of getting cream crackered and having further to fall. Don’t go too mad mind.

Just thought I’d tell people that my stair lift that’s being fitted next week is being provided by the council on long term loan - as in with no cost to myself and it wasn’t subject to means testing either. I was expecting to have to pay for it but it’s being supplied completely free as long as we notify them when I don’t need it anymore!

Not sure if this is part of the post code lottery again or if other councils work in the same way.

Sarah x

Hi Sarah, I did think all DFG work was means-tested…perhaps not everywhere tho. Anyway, glad your situation is about to improve for you.


Hi Cheryl,

Just for a different perspective on things I live in Australia where bunglows, as you Brits call them, are the norm and hardly anyone lives in a double storey house. There is no difference between the rate of MS deteiroation or progression in the two countries so I really don’t think not using the stairs is going to affect the outcome or progress of your MS one iota However for general leg toning and conditioning stepping up onto and back off a single step repeatedly is a great exercise (think step aerobics) without any of the attendant risks of falling arse over tit down the stairs and doing yourself a serious injury

I also have a mini exercise bike that is just the pedals that you can adjust the tension of but not the whole frame and seat. You sit on a normal chair and pedal away. Great while watching telly and it helps keep my legs moving (a bit anyway, my legs are a bit useless.)

And I do agree that standing on a step on the balls of your feet (hanging on to a rail!!!) and letting your heels drop down lower is a great way to stretch the calf muscles. I used to get my riding students to do it all the time when I still ran my equestrian centre and it helps riders get their heels down in the stirrups beautifully

And can you please tell me how you trained your kids so well??? My daughter’s room always looks like the wardobes have convulsed and spewed their contents on the floor. She is a grot


LMAO!!! I got filtered! Think of a slightly rude version of ‘bottom’ starting with A as in LM ‘A’ O and put it in the [filtered word] bit


Hi Poll - everything else is means tested. We’re thinking of doing the bathroom to make life easier and I’m fairly sure we wouldn’t be entitled to any help with that. My council just seems to provide stairlifts on a loan basis for anyone who needs them!

B - I’ll certainly try those exercises you suggest.


S x

Thanks everyone for some very helpful replies. Sarah, that is brill about your stair life, Whammel, I’m going to incorporate some stepping into my routine too, thanks for th encouragement. B, might get myself one of these little exercise bikes, I’ve seen them advertised, that’s a good idea. B, lol at your daughters bedroom, my (8 year old) daughter has a lot of stuff in her room, a lot of which I would like to throw away tbh, however she tidied it away so I don’t bother too much. My (12 year old) son is very tidy, don’t know why, the engineer came to service the heating an he said that was the tidiest boys room he had ever been in! Oh, B, perhaps you should suggest helpin to tidy her room nothing gets my children more motivated to tidy than the thought of mum coming to help! Anyway, for now, I’m going to try just stepping the bottom step a few times, just a few days a week and see how it goes. Thanks Cheryl:-)

Hey Cheryl - I understand where you’re coming from as I’m finding the stairs harder too - I do worry that I may fall if I’m carrying anything but I haven’t as yet, thank the lord! I often come down on my bum after cleaning the bathroom as my legs give up on me after that. Hope you find something that helps! Teresa xx

Thanks Teresa, yes I come down on my bum too sometimes and I wipe the skirtings with a cloth as I slide down on my bum. Cheryl:-)

You’re more diligent than me Cheryl - I’m just concentrating on my descent! Teresa xx

I don’t know if anyone else has this but I find there’s a huge difference in what I can do depending on how long it is since I had a meal. I try to do stair stepping (up and down on the bottom step) every day and I can do it much better if I have just eaten. Blood sugar or something…