Aug 10, 2018 by Nancy Hmieleski, RN, BSN Director of Nursing
Stair safety could be the set of habits that helps your elderly family member to avoid falling when she's using her stairs. If she's not already taking all of these precautions, you might want to encourage her to make some changes.
Use Handrails When Going Up or Down the Stairs
Some people just aren't used to using handrails, but that's something your senior needs to adjust to doing. Encourage her to use the handrails whether she feels like she needs them or not. It's important to use them when going both up and down the stairs.
Don't Carry Anything that Blocks Viewing the Stairs
Carrying anything that is too large for one-handed carry is also a bad idea. Often what happens in that situation is that the item blocks your senior's view of the stairs. This can lead very quickly to a bad fall and is something to avoid completely.
Reduce Clutter on and Around Stairs
Clutter is a huge tripping hazard, of course, but especially on and around the stairs. If your elderly family member's home has a great deal of clutter or it collects on the stairs, it's important to find a new system. You might want to set a basket or bin near the stairs for items that need to go upstairs. Store it away from the actual stairs, though, so that it doesn't become a tripping hazard itself.
Turn on Lights Whenever Possible
Lighting can help your senior spot the next stair and keep from tripping. If she doesn't like turning lights on and off, she might be more interested in a light fixture that uses motion sensing technology to automatically turn on and off. She'll be safer and she won't have to think about turning the lights off again.
Use Other Assistive Devices Carefully on Stairs
Assistive devices such as canes and walkers can be used safely on stairs, but your senior needs to know how to do this properly. Ask her doctor to show her how to use these types of assistive devices on stairs. Another option might be to install a chair lift in the stairway. This can be a lot safer for your senior and can bring you peace of mind.
You may also find it helpful to hire home care providers to spend time with your aging adult. Not only are they fantastic companions, but they can help your elderly family member to navigate her stairs safely.
If you or an elderly loved one are considering homecare in Belvidere, NJ, or the surrounding areas, call the caring professionals at Comfort Keepers of Flemington, NJ. Call today (908) 806-2220.