If you are a caregiver helping your parent live at home in her older years, you may have concerns that plague you when you aren’t physically there.
One of those worries may be about your parent falling down or up the stairs in her home. Falling is a serious concern for the elderly as falls increase with age due to weakness, balance issues and even sight issues.
To keep your aging parent safe while at home and to give yourself some peace of mind, there are several ways you can make her home stairs safer for her to use.
Add a hand railing or two
Each set of steps in the home should have at least one, preferably two, hand railings or banisters for her to use, even if the set of stairs only has two or three steps. While having one steady handrail will definitely help your parent ease down the steps with the support she needs, putting a handrail on each side of the steps when possible will provide even more assistance. If the space is limited, having your home care provider there when your parent uses the stairs will give her a needed hand when she has company.
Attach rubber mats
Rubber mats can help with several issues that can make stairs unsafe for your parent. They can reduce the amount of slipperiness on wood or vinyl, thus preventing your parent’s foot from slipping out from under her. If your parent has problems lifting her legs, you can also use mats to reduce the height of steps, making it a bit easier for her to go up a step or two. Rubber mats can be difficult to clean as dirt and muck gets lodged inside their grooves so have your home care provider add this chore to her weekly or monthly list to help your parent keep the mats clean and safe.
Provide better lighting
If your parent has vision problems or if her stairs are currently in an area that is not well lit, adding some lighting to the area will help her see where her feet are as she uses the steps as well as see where that final step is. One other trick to help her see the stairs better is to paint or stain each step in a contrasting color.
Keep the path clear
The stairs should not be a storage place. If your parent is used to setting items on the steps to help her to remember to bring things up to the upper level, set up a small table at the base of the stairs for her to set those items on. Your parent should strive to keep her stairs clear of all debris. When cleaning the home, your home care provider can make sure nothing is ever on the stairs that may cause your parent to stumble or trip.
These simple and affordable processes will help make sure your parent can use her stairs safely in most cases. You can also look at more drastic options when needed such as converting some stairs to ramps (where space allows) or by installing a chair lift to carry your parent up and down the stairs. You might also want to relook at how often your parent needs to use the stairs and move items from around the home to one floor to reduce stair trips.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care in Broomall PA, please contact the friendly staff at Suma Home Care.
Call today: (484) 206-4544
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