Thursday, 22 May 2014 19:07

Preventing Falls on the Stairs

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There are a lot of areas of the home that are dangerous or present a risk. Often this depends on your age group. For instance, a child might be at risk when playing around the stove, while an elderly individual is likely to be more at risk when using the stairs. Identifying and dealing with these issues is paramount to staying healthy and injury free.

Among seniors, a fall can be a very serious thing. It is often harder for an elderly individual to catch themselves before they fall. The recovery time for a senior is also a lot longer and the process can be quite difficult. Many times, due to osteoporosis, even a small low impact fall can result in a broken hip or fractured wrist, so it is far better to prevent them before they happen.

One of the most common places for a fall is the stairs and other areas that change elevation. Sometimes a home will have a step down into the living room or perhaps even into the kitchen, so making sure all of these types of areas are clearly marked is a good idea. Using a piece of brightly colored textured tape is a good idea. On the stairs, you should use the same color tape for all of the steps, with the exception of the first and last step. On the first and last step, you should use a color that sharply contrasts the tape on the inside steps. This way it is easy to quickly pick out the top and bottom step.

Some people also choose to install a stair lift, which is a medical lifting aid. These devices are used to help a person up the stairs and are great for those who find it painful or otherwise difficult to use the stairs. Many accidents are caused by a lack of balance, so those that are at all unsteady should consider using some sort of lifting aid.

It is also a good idea to remove loose carpets, especially around the stairs. A loose throw rug not only can slip, but even if the rug has a non-skid backing, the corner can become turned up, making it possible to trip over it. Instead, carpets should be tacked to the floor and remain firmly in place and otherwise removed.

Having adequate lighting can also be very important to prevent falls. For outdoor use, installing motion lights can be a good idea. These lights come on if they detect motion, but they can also be turned on like regular lights, usually by turning them off and back on again in rapid succession. You can also adjust how sensitive the motion detector is, so make sure you adjust it to turn on as soon as you drive up or come outside. For inside, having good light is important in all areas of the home.

For a senior, it can be difficult to recover from a fall. It is a good idea to take steps to make your home as safe as possible.


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