Good stairs for seniors are stairs that have optimal riser heights and tread depths, have an optimal number of steps and intermediate landings, and have adequate lighting and railings. Stairs for seniors should have a riser height of approximately 7 inches and a minimum tread depth of 11 inches.
The riser height and tread depth should be consistent and even. Studies also indicate that stairs with fewer than six and greater than 12 steps increase the risk of falling, and that the optimal number of steps is between 10 and 12. Stairs with a greater number of steps should have an intermediate landing. Lighting should be as bright as surrounding areas and not cast glares or shadows, and there should be light controls at the top and bottom of stairs. Stairs should also have railings on both sides, and the railings should extend for several inches beyond the landing and top of each flight.