Whether you are constructing, remodeling, or making modifications of stairs for an older adult, it is imperative that you take measures that will ensure the safe usage.
As a person ages, their movements typically become hindered and their mobility starts to become limited. A simple task – such as maneuvering up and down stairs – can become quite difficult.
The risk for falls dramatically increases with age. This, coupled with the fact that many seniors must take medications, have reduced vision, are weaker, and may have balance issues complicates the situation even further.
Here, you will learn a few techniques that will help keep your loved one safe while on stairs.
Step #1: Lighting
The first step to ensuring senior safety on stairs is to make certain that the stair area is well-lit.
It does not matter if the stairs are on the outdoors, leading into the home or the stairs are indoors, leading to other levels of their home. All stairs should have the proper level of illumination.
For seniors, this illumination should be very bright. Overhead lights, stair lighting kits, and lights that attach to the rails of the stairs are all considered to be ideal options.
Step #2: Sturdy Stair Rails
When preparing stairs for seniors, it is imperative that the stairs include sturdy stair rails. Older people that have mobility, balance, and/or vision issues will require something sturdy to hold on to while they move up and down.
In ideal situations, both sides of the stairs should have rails so that the individual may use their strong hand/arm to move up and down the structure. To determine if the rails are strong enough, you should place your entire weight on them. Make sure there is no movement.
Also, you should make certain that the person’s hand may wrap around the rail to ensure safety. Decorative railings are aesthetically pleasing, but if they will not accommodate weight or are too large for a proper grip, they are not safe enough.
Step #3: Proper Tread
Senior stairs should include a material that allows for proper grip of the feet. It is best to avoid carpeting. You should opt for wood or another material that allows for proper footing and appropriate grip.
There are many safety products available that will reduce slippage on stair floors. In order to provide a safety boost to the structure, you may want to opt for these products.
Let Us Help
We here at GreenLight Mobility have the capability of helping you ensure that your loved one’s stairs are safe – be it indoors or outdoors. If you are in the market for stair rails in New Jersey, grab bars, and other safety features for the senior’s home, we can help there, too!
Remember, falls can be absolutely devastating to your loved one. If a fall occurs on stairs, it can be disabling, or worse, deadly. To learn more about our senior home services and safety products, call us today at: (973) 946-8330