As a senior, there may come a time when you begin to have trouble using stairs, but that doesn’t mean that you have to stop using them altogether. However, once you’ve become aware that you are having difficulty with stairs, you will notice that you encounter them everywhere.
Falls are the most common cause of injury to seniors due to a variety of reasons, including reduced vision, weakness, and loss of balance. Also, an inactive lifestyle may contribute to your loss of confidence on the stairs, as well as environmental factors like poor lighting, defective handrails, and substandard tread surfaces.
It’s extremely important to find a medical alert device with fall detection, but here are some ways that you can make any stairs safer for seniors.
Let There Be Light
Of all the areas of your home, the stairs should have the amplest illumination. You can install something like a stair lighting kit or use low-glare overhead lighting to make sure each step is completely visible. Ensure that light switches are placed at both at the bottom and top of the stairs.
Clear the Deck
Loose rugs are a major tripping hazard and shouldn’t be used anywhere in your home, especially at the bottom or top of stairways. Also, always remove objects such as shoes or books, and make sure that landings don’t include furnishings that block the path.
Handrails (on both sides of the stairwell if possible) should be installed once climbing and descending stairs becomes difficult. Position rails at elbow height and ensure that they are attached securely to posts and walls.
Stay Current with Your Vision Care
Making sure that your vision prescription is current will help you avoid unnecessary falls. All the good lighting in the world won’t cancel out poor vision. If you have poor far vision, always wear your glasses when using the stairs, and remove reading glasses before using them. Adjust the position of your glasses with each entrance to the stairway.
Quality footwear is extremely important for seniors, especially when using the stairs. Shoes with low heels and slip-resistant soles are recommended.
If your stairs are made of a smooth surface non-slip treads can help ensure proper footing and improve the visibility of each stair edge. GripStrips are a perfect solution. Our anti-slip treads are tough, long lasting and come in 3 sizes and 4 colors so colors can be alternated on each step. They are easy to install with just a screwdriver and won’t peel or rip. GripStrips out perform traditional tape solutions and look great. GripStrip® it for safer stairs in less than a minute.