Take a Step Back and Check Your Stairs
By Donna Stark
The reports are in. Stairs can be dangerous, and not only for that runaway toddler. If you have loved ones who are in the later years of their life, stairs can be especially tricky for them too! As a matter of fact, many of the accident-related injuries amongst the elderly are due to falls that involve stairs or steps, which is why it's essential that you make sure your loved ones are as safe as possible!
Keeping Your Loved Ones Safe
We all have ups-and-downs in life, but we certainly don't want the "downs" that your loved one experiences come as a result of a trip or fall on the stairs. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to protect them and significantly decrease their risk of falls. Let's take a look.
- Physical condition - Replace torn or loose carpet, repair worn-out areas, and above all, do not polish the surface! Shiny wooden stairs may look beautiful, but they are an accident waiting to happen.
- Uneven steps - Some properties may have stairs or steps that are uneven in height or depth. Address these issues immediately because they can easily be deceiving.
- Wet or icy steps - Ice, snow, and even rain can make steps extremely hazardous for the unsuspecting person, so stay on top of their condition during certain weather conditions. Clear the steps of any weather-related debris (including leaves) and consider adding some form of non-skid runners to their surface.
- Handrails - Handrails are a necessity on some steps, so if required, make sure yours has them. Equally important, you also need to keep an eye on the stability and condition of the handrails as well. The handrails should be secure enough to support your loved one just in case they become unbalanced and need to grab on.
- Ramps - If this is an option, a ramp may be a good idea too! Your best bet would be to hire a professional to come out so you can be sure the job is done properly, as there may be permits involved. Just don't forget the handrails! Inclines can still be a bit tricky for some.
- Stair lifts - Mainly for indoor use, a stair lift may be your best bet if steps have become unmanageable for your loved one. They take up very little room on the actual staircase but like a ramp, they should be installed by a professional.
Take a Step Back
It's time to take a cold, hard look at the condition of your stairs if you want to ensure the safety of your loved ones. So take a step back and put yourself in their shoes. It may be the best thing you can do to keep everyone you love healthy and happy.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Loganville, Ga.