If your senior’s home has stairs, even a short set of only a few steps, she needs to be well-versed in stair safety. Otherwise, she might experience a situation that you could have avoided by putting some rules in place for how you both approach the stairs.
Homecare Northridge CA – Five Stair Safety Rules Your Senior Needs to Know
Lights Are Crucial
Your senior’s stairway needs to be well-lit so that she can see each step. It might also help to mark the edge of each tread with tape that either reflects light or that is brightly colored. If she doesn’t remember to turn lights on, you might want to consider using a motion-sensing light for that area of the house.
Clutter Needs Banishing
Clutter is always a problem, no matter where it is. But it’s especially dangerous around or on the stairs themselves. Make it a habit to clear any clutter that you find around the stairs on a regular basis. If it’s a bad enough habit, you might want to look for solutions to help contain some of that clutter in a way that doesn’t leave it clogging the stairs at all.
Handrails Are Not Decorative
Your senior’s stairs should have handrails that are secure and easy for her to grasp. If they’re not secure, do what you can to anchor them more firmly to the wall. They need to be able to support her weight if she should trip or stumble. Make sure that your elderly family member uses the handrails every time she goes up or down the stairs.
How She Carries Items Matters
If your senior tends to carry things up and down the stairs, she needs to be aware of how she does so. Carrying things so that she can’t see around them is not a good idea, but it’s also dangerous to carry anything that is large or heavy. It’s much better for you or for someone else to carry those items for her.
Some Assistive Devices Are Not Safe for Stairs
Your senior might be able to use her cane on her stairs, but other devices, like a walker, might not be as safe for her to use. If you’re ever in doubt, make sure that you talk with her doctor about how to use those tools properly on stairways. You might want to talk to your senior about relocating her to a single level in her home if her safety is in question.
Homecare providers can help you and your senior to remain alert to stair safety. Homecare aides can help your senior to navigate her stairs and assist when she might be too tired to safely go up or down on her own.