Stair Safety to Keep You Safe and Well

As we age, our eyesight and balance tend to decline. As a result, we become more susceptible to tripping and falling, and more prone to serious injury.

Up to 30 percent of senior adults who fall today suffer injuries such as hip fractures, hip lacerations, or head traumas. Falls are also the most common cause of brain injuries for seniors.

National statistics show that falls are the leading cause of injury-related death among people aged 65 and older. Falls that are not fatal can still cause major changes in the lives of older Americans and seriously diminish their quality of life. As an example, broken bones sometimes don’t heal properly and become more susceptible to breaks in the future.

Why Stair Safety Is a Priority

The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, part of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says that about half of all falls occur in the home. One of the dangers in the home environment is the stairs, they can be a major hazard that can result in serious and debilitating injuries.

Today, one out of three senior adults falls every year and two-thirds of them will fall again within six months. For all of these reasons, stair safety and fall prevention should be a priority for both senior adults and the loved ones in their lives.

Marilyn Kerr, RN, Director of Nursing for Saunders House in Wynnewood, PA, says, “Falls are a very serious problem today for our nation’s mature population. Falling down a flight of stairs can be life changing for older Americans. The good news is there are many useful preventative measures you can take to make your stairs safer and reduce the risks to yourself or a loved one.”

Tips for Making Your Stairs Safer

According to the article, “9 Simple Tips To Ensure Stair Safety,” stairway falls are a common accident that can occur around the home and often result in serious injuries, especially in senior adults. There are some simple preventive measures that you can take to minimize the risks.

  • Keep stairways clear at all times. This includes the landing areas.
  • Make sure stairs are equipped with secure handrails and that they are installed at a comfortable height.
  • All stairs should be at the same height and depth and be equipped with a non-slip surface.
  • Repair any stairs that are loose, broken or have a slippery surface. Fix loose or torn carpeting.
  • Ensure that stairways are well lit and have a light switch at both the top and bottom of the stairs. Install a low-intensity night light if possible.
  • If there are rugs at the top or bottom of the stairs, make sure they have a non-slip backing.
  • The edge of each stair should be clearly visible.
  • Be aware of alcohol consumption or any medicine that may cause side effects such as dizziness or blurred vision.
  • When using stairs, be sure to take your time. Don’t carry items that will block your view of the stairs or prevent you from holding onto the handrail and make sure you can see clearly. This includes removing reading glasses or wearing glasses prescribed for distance.

By being a little cautious and taking some time to make your stairs safe, you can reduce your risk of falling and live safely and more confidently.

We’d Love to Hear Your Thoughts!

If you have comments or questions about our blog, we’d love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share any of your caregiving experiences with us. Please share your thoughts in our comments section.

Discover our Healthy Tradition of Care and Wellness

Located adjacent to Lankenau Hospital, Saunders House – part of Main Line Senior Care Alliance – has a celebrated tradition of providing exceptional care and services to seniors and their families. It’s a tradition we’re proud to continue.

Today, Saunders House offers a range of services including short-term rehabilitationtraditional nursing care, restorative carememory carerespite care and specialized care for individuals with visual impairments – all in a setting that is warm, welcoming and nurturing.

For more information on Saunders House, our short-term rehabilitation program and other professional services, please call us today at (610) 658-5100 or contact us online.

Disclaimer: This information should not be construed as Saunders House or Main Line Senior Care Alliance offering legal advice. For legal advice, please consult your attorney.

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