Every day of your life, you step up and over things without a thought. You may even stumble over something, catch yourself, and go on with your day without concern. But as you age, your mobility declines. Muscle mass diminishes, bones become thinner, joints become stiffer, and getting around your home becomes more difficult. These factors can make those everyday items you stepped over before into a genuinely dangerous tripping hazard. Keep reading to learn what items in your home can be a tripping hazard and how you can fix them to make your home a safer, more accessible place.
This is perhaps the most apparent tripping hazard for those with limited mobility. Long flights of stairs can become impossible if you have muscle weakness, and sometimes, even a single step up to your front door can become a daily obstacle.
Depending on the length and configuration of these flights of stairs, there are many different options for overcoming these hazards. For long flights of indoor stairs, a stairlift is likely the best option. These rails mount to the wall beside your stairs and have a motorized seat that can safely move you between levels of your home. For outdoor steps, ramps can often be placed directly over the stairs to make it easier to move in and out of your home.
Many people have rugs on the floors of their homes, and for most of them, the rugs are never an issue. But if you struggle to lift your feet when walking, the edge of a floor rug can easily trip you up. If you have rugs in your home that have raised, curled edges, tack them down or use rug tape to hold them in place. If they’re so severely lifted that they still don’t stay down, replace them with new ones, or remove them altogether.
Tubs and Showers
Personal hygiene is essential to overall health and quality of life. But for many elderly individuals, accessing the tub or shower can be quite tricky. Stepping over a bathtub wall is dangerous for some, and standing for an extended period in a shower can be next to impossible.
The safest solutions for these obstacles are walk-in tubs and showers (or a combination of them both). A walk-in tub has a low entry step and a door so that you don’t have to climb over a high wall and an upright seat that allows for comfortable bathing. Walk-in showers also have low entry steps, but with an overhead sprayer and no wall. Whichever you choose, they’ll both make your bathroom a safer and more accessible place for you.