Stairs can pose a problem for people of any age, but they're especially dangerous to your elderly loved one. Doing everything that you can to keep stairs safe for your loved one is easier than you think.
Double Check Lights and Light Switches
Lighting is incredibly important so that your loved one can see exactly where she's about to place her feet. If the bulbs aren't quite bright enough, consider replacing them with the brightest bulbs that fixture can take. Don't forget the light switches. There should be one at the top and at the bottom so your loved one can access them easily.
Repair or Install Sturdy Hand Rails
Pay special attention to the hand rails on your loved one's stairways. They need to be sturdy enough that if your loved one felt she were about to fall, she could safely catch herself. If that's not the case, make sure to repair or install sturdy grab bars. A wall on either side of the stairway means that you can actually put in a hand rail on each side.
Make the Treads as Non-slip as Possible
Some stairways have a slippery finish on the wooden treads or have carpet that is not very secure. Take a long look at the treads and determine if there is a way to make them as non-slip as possible for your loved one. This might include using special paint that has a grip to it or placing rubberized coverings over each tread.
Use Contrasting Colors on the Edges of Treads
If your loved one has difficulty seeing well, contrasting colors can make a big difference. Try using brightly-colored tape along the very edge of each step, for example. If you're using paint with a grippy texture, consider tinting it a different color from the rest of the stairs.
Move Obstacles out of the Way
Obstacles at the top or bottom of the stairway can present a problem for your loved one. Move any of the obstacles that you can move and make sure that your loved one has a clear pathway at the top and bottom of the stairs.
If your loved one has significant trouble with her stairs, consider moving her to one level of her home. Then, if your loved one needs anything from the upper levels, you can help. When you can't be there, consider hiring elderly care providers to lend an extra hand.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Mason, MI, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Lansing. Call today: 517-332-9953.