Tripping and falling is fun for no one. What makes for a good laugh in the movies makes for a painful and potentially debilitating situation in reality. The dangers associated with tripping and falling should not be underestimated. And this is especially true for individuals with mobility issues. For those who may require canes or walkers to get around, it’s of vital importance that they literally watch their steps.
Watching your step, it should be noted, involves being very aware of your surroundings. And, believe it or not, one’s home can often present more tripping hazards than the great outdoors. This is because many of us tend to take for granted that our living spaces are our own. We sometimes throw our jackets down instead of hanging them up. Or we leave books on the floor instead of placing them back on shelves.
These seemingly small actions can have major consequences. So what are the best ways to avoid tripping hazards in the house? Here are three important ones:
1. Keep your stairways and walkways illuminated and free of clutter.
Keeping a clutter-free home is a big step in the world of preventing injury. Naturally, the fewer items left on the floor, the lower the possibility of tripping on them. However, as Sheetal Werneke points out on MoneyPit.com, it’s a good idea to have all walkways illuminated so that the areas can easily be seen.
“Make sure all porches, hallways and stairwells are well lit with a bright light at the top and bottom of stairs,” she advises, “Use the maximum safe wattage in light fixtures. Use nightlights to help light hallways, stairwells and bathrooms during night-time hours. Keep stairs, steps, landings and all floors clear. Reduce clutter and safely tuck away telephone and electrical cords out of walkways.”
2. Avoid throw rugs.
Throw rugs are prone to bunching up instead of trustingly laying flat. When throw rugs fold and bend upwards, they present uneven surfaces which are major culprits in making people trip and fall. Your best option is to keep your floor clear of any rugs to maintain clean and even surfaces throughout the home.
3. Utilize accessibility devices in the bathroom.
The bathroom is arguably the room in the home where a person with mobility issues is most susceptible to falling. The naturally slippery surface of bathtubs coupled with the presence of water make for a potentially hazardous area. This is why installing grab bars throughout the bathroom is highly recommended. They should be placed in baths and shower stalls to help you safely get in and out of the tub.
As Todd of Michigan-based Health Care Associates writes, it is also a great safety measure to install grab bars by toilets. “Toilet seats that are too low can be major hazards for falls,” he points out, “Typically, the legs start to atrophy when they get older and lose their strength. When it’s time to get back up from using the toilet, sometimes the legs give out and you fall. It’s very important to have grab bars along the wall next to the toilet. You can grab these bars to help propel you up.”
At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we offer an array of bathroom grab bars in addition to number of other solutions for easier bathroom accessibility. To learn more about them, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact Page!