The number of adults suffering a fall each year totals in the millions. Alarming, isn’t it? Also, falls are the top cause of injuries – including fatal injuries – for seniors, according to the CDC. In 2010 alone, more than 2 million older adults were treated in emergency rooms for nonfatal falls. Of these, more than 660,000 were hospitalized.
Luckily, there are several steps you can take today to keep your home and stairway safe while also lowering the risk of you or your loved one becoming a sobering statistic. Here are just a handful of very easy measures you and your loved one can take right now to significantly boost your home’s safety.
1.) Make sure your stairway is well lit.
You are less likely to trip and fall over a hazard you can see over one that is hidden in the dark. So flip on that switch before you take the stairs. You can also easily install LED lighting on the handrails.
2.) Use a strong handrail.
A sturdy, well installed handrail is worth its weight in gold when it comes to your safety. If your home don’t have a handrail, install one as soon as possible. Keep in mind, though, that should you slip you will need enough upper body strength to hold on and keep balance.
3.)Where the rubber meets the road – or stair.
We can say enough good things about shoes with good rubber soles. Avoid climbing stairs in bare feet or in slippers, especially if the steps are wooden. Don’t have rubber-soled shoes? Just wearing any pair of kicks up and down the stairs is better than going barefoot.
4.) Exercise, exercise, exercise.
If going up the stairs in your home is the only activity you’re getting on a daily basis, this tip is for you. Get that workout in; some programs even have exercises for leg strength that one can do while sitting in a chair or on the couch. Making one’s legs stronger will kelp exponentially with balance. Get moving, even if it is just for a few minutes each day.
5.) See things clearly.
If you are avoiding wearing your specs, or if your eyes are in pain regularly, it might be time to see the eye doctor. If you are wearing the wrong prescription, or maybe have no prescription at all, you may not clearly see the hazards lurking on your stairs. An annual vision check will keep you seeing things clearly.
6.) Install extra traction on the steps.
To help keep you and your family from falling down stairs, add some extra traction. Todays traction tape offers anti-slip treads in various colors and sometimes feature reflective visibility stripes.
7.) Choose a quality stairlift.
Installing a stairlift for your home is often the best and safest option, no matter how many other precautions you take. Stairlifts can practically eliminate the risk of a fall on the stairs, and they have many of their own safety features such as safety belts, powered swivel-seats and automatic stop sensors for obstructions.