Seniors and Stairs — Making Safety Priority #1
Falls are a serious concern for seniors and their loved ones. According to recent figures, 2.5 million seniors are treated in emergency rooms for falls each year. Although common changes in aging bodies have a lot to do with falls, many of these accidents are completely preventable.
If you care for an aging loved one, it’s largely up to you to make sure that the home environment is safe, especially if there are stairs. Whether the home features numerous stairways or just a few steps, it’s important to make sure they are as safe as possible.
Let’s look at some of the ways you can make sure the stairs and steps in your senior loved one’s home don’t contribute to any falls!
Get Rid of Hazards
When falls occur on or around the stairs, it’s usually because there were tripping hazards present. Thankfully, these hazards are easily removed:
- Make sure furniture doesn’t block stairways
- Remove rugs that can act as tripping hazards
- By all means, keep cords and wires out of the way
- Remind other family members to keep the stairs and steps clear
A Better Grip
Stairways in many seniors’ homes are well used and often made from materials that are conducive to slips and falls. Applying grip tape or another type of skid-resistant treatment to the stairs is a great idea to ensure that falls don’t happen. If the stairs are carpeted, you will need to make sure that the carpet isn’t loose or saggy.
Consider Installing Handrails
Getting up and down the stairs is easier for everyone when handrails have been installed. In a senior’s home, they should be installed on both sides of the stairway, and they should be attached securely at elbow level.
Shed Some Light
It’s not uncommon for seniors to have trouble with night vision, which is why you want to ensure that the stairs are well lit. A night light may be able to solve any illumination issues near or on the stairs, but if you need to install special overhead lighting, be sure to have switches at both the top and bottom of the stairway.
When It’s Time for a Change
For many seniors, there comes a time when it’s no longer possible — or safe — to use the stairs. If this is the case, the installation of a lift chair may need to be considered. Some families remodel the home to include all necessary facilities and plumbing on the ground floor.
Whatever the situation may be, it’s crucial to ensure that your senior stays safe and comfortable for as long as they elect to stay at home.
Call Always Best Care of Columbia Today!
If you need help with a senior loved one who may need assistance with day-to-day living or may require assisted living placement services in the Midlands, call Always Best Care today at 1 (803) 403-1895 for a FREE consultation.