As your aging parents continue to get older they may experience less mobility and balance than they are used to enjoying. Falling can be a risk to a host of problems for a senior parent, and preventing that in every way possible is a good idea to keep them healthy and safe for as long as possible. Since you love your mother or father and want to make them comfortable despite the challenges they may face, you should find out as much as you can about stair safety and preventing falls. Senior care services and your parent’s caregiver can also help you make decisions regarding your safety concerns.
How to Make the Stairs in your Elder’s home Safer
Several studies show that one of the most accident-prone places in a person’s home is the staircase. Falls that occur on stairs are far more dangerous than falling just onto the floor. If your parent has arthritis or glaucoma this could make it even more difficult for them to walk up or down stairs safely. Here are some things you can do to help:
- Keep stairs clear of objects like grandchildren’s toys, books, or anything that’s left there that could possibly trip your aging parent.
- Have bright, high quality lighting above the stairs as well as in the hallways and rooms that connect to the stairs, giving elders with poor eyesight the best conditions to see where they’re walking. Also make sure light switches are at the top and bottom of the stairs for easy access.
- If you or your parent wants carpeted stairs, choose a light color such as beige or white, and it should be low-pile carpet. Deep-pile carpet can trip your parent. Check that it isn’t loose or bunched up because ill-fitting carpet makes for an unsteady ground underfoot.
- Each individual step needs to be clearly visible, and this is why patterned or dark carpets should be avoided. You can even have stripes of bright tape such as orange or red applied to the edge of each step, to differentiate them in an even more obvious way.
- Something else that is very important is having properly, tightly installed handrails to give your parent something to support themselves with. They should be easily able to grip it and at a comfortable height.
- If going up and down stairs on foot is no longer an option consider installing a stair lift.
Helping your aging parent to navigate their own home more easily is a rewarding endeavor. Seeing your mother or father happier and more comfortable is the important reason behind all of this. Your senior care services caregiver will be more than happy to help and to adjust your parent to the changes in their home. Following good stair safety practices will prevent many tragic accidents and lengthen your parent’s life.