We should stop slip fall accidents before they happen. It’s a very important job before winter sets in. With increased rain now is the right time to complete those niggling jobs like reducing the risk of slip fall accidents around the home.
Stopping these accidents around the home is very important, not only for you but family and visitors as well. I can’t imagine how guilty I would feel if a visitor slipped on a floor or took a tumble on those front steps. When anyone over 60 visits I become very aware of all those little things I should have done to ensure my property was as safe as practical for parents or elderly relatives.
THE MUST DO’S
All stairs in the home should be well lit and have a contrasting edge so people can clearly see where the edge of each step starts. It sounds like overkill but anyone visiting with a vision impairment or balance issue will find negotiating well lit stairs with contrasting nosing much easier to deal with. These strips can be in the form of anti slip adhesive tape available at your local hardware or custom cut stair nosing with contrast inserts.
TILES & VINYL
Tile or vinyl surfaces that lead to external access doors are another area that should be looked at. These types of flooring have a nasty habit of turning into skating rinks if water is spilled or tracked in from outside. One of the simplest ways to reduce this type of risk is placing an absorbent entry mat inside the access door. The better long term solution is to look at a coating or an anti slip floor treatment that will increase the COF (Coefficient of Friction). These types of products are general invisible to the eye but provide much improved traction in the wet.
External paths and decking areas should be free of lichen and moss that builds up over winter particularly on the South and East facing sides of your property. Lichen and moss will hold moisture in their micro root structure and this will leave these surfaces extremely dangerous even well into summer if not removed. Fortunately there a several great products on the market that you simply spay on and after a week or two the whole structure including the root system is eliminated. If you don’t want to wait a few weeks hiring or borrowing a high pressure cleaner with a “deck” attachment will blast away most of the structure and then follow up with the spray.
EXTERNAL TRIP HAZARDS
Check around the home for uneven surfaces or raised concrete joins or even roots from garden beds next to paths. As we get older one of the first things to deteriorate is our balance and ensuring that paths and walkways are well lit and free of lumps and bumps is a great way to reduce slip fall accidents for the elderly. If there are surfaces that can’t be leveled think about installing a rail or grab bar on an adjoining wall.
RAMPS AND DRIVEWAYS
Take a look at any ramps or steep inclines outside the home. You would be surprised at the number of slip fall accidents that happen when trying to wheel the bin down a driveway that is wet or oily. This issue is again manageable with a couple of products from the local hardware, solutions like paving paint with a non slip additive will greatly improve traction even on an oily wet drive. These paints are available in a big range of colors to blend in with most surfaces and very are simple to apply.