Safe stairs can decrease senior falls

Kevin Magna

February 2, 2012

Safe stairs can decrease senior fallsAccording to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three seniors age 65 and older will experience a fall each year. Many times these falls can occur in their own homes, which makes keeping a senior's house in tip-top shape a good way to help them stay fall-free, The Chronicle Herald reports.

Major fall risk areas in homes are the stairs – whether those outside the home or the ones leading to second floor. Keeping these areas maintained might help elders avoid falls.

According to the publication, installing handrails is a great way to help seniors balance on the stairs. Make sure the rails are secure, as a wobbly railing can be just as dangerous as not having one at all.

Although festive designs on stairs can add real flare to a home, they can also be distracting for elders. Visually distracting patterns can make it hard for a senior to decipher one step from the other, which can increase their chances of tumbling. If a person wants carpeted stairs, make sure to go for a solid color that's easy on the eyes.

Widening stairs and adding lighting can also decrease falls, and installing a medical alert system might be the best protection of all. This wearable device allows seniors to call for help should they suffer a fall or another emergency.

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