Hallways, entryways, breezeways, oh my! While these transitional spaces within a home environment rarely register on a Top 10 List for much of anything, they are worth paying attention to when talking safety in our living environment. This applies to everyone! And if we were to add stairways, then we would have hit the number two place for deaths from injuries, slips-and-trips within the home. Yes, this is serious!
Specifically, take a look at this excerpt from our upcoming eBook, Caring for the Sandwich Generation at Home, on considerations for preventing falls and injuries in these areas of your home. Be sure to “FOLLOW” this blog for more information on this topic.
Transitional spaces: Hallways, Entries, Breezeways, Stairways
Try as best as you can to objectively evaluate the points of transition in your living spaces as if you were a guest in your own home. Do you have a clear, wide, and logical path to get from one area to another without clutter, loose rugs, furniture, or poorly behaved pets to trip over? Remove rugs where possible; a small rug by an exit door might be acceptable if it is well off to the side of a walkway.
Next, examine the lighting and consider either photosensitive nightlights or illuminated light switches along the entire hallway on each floor of the home. A motion-sensor light switch can help each of us avoid walking through any area of the home at any time that is dimly lit! (And that could be in the middle of the day during the summer!) Lastly, if the flooring is smooth or slippery, consider replacing it or develop the habit today of always wearing securely fitted foot coverings inside your home. Actually that is a great idea everyday, especially when travelling or staying in the home of others.
Steps and stairwells. While most falls occur in the bathroom, according to the National Safety Council, deaths around the home rank second for steps and stairs. Check out the steps and stairwells of your residence. It’s best to have handrails on both sides of the walls or steps when going up and down the stairs. Make sure these railings are available all the way from the bottom to the top of the stairwell including any turns or corners.
In the eBook we will discuss lighting extensively. Briefly for now, how about checking the location of the light switch? You don’t want to have to reach around a corner of a stairwell to turn a light on or off; one moment of loss of balance reaching for the switch may create a potential disaster! Adding a photosensitive nightlight or wall-mounted press-on light fixture might provide the needed illumination. If the floor is shiny, be careful not to add too much lighting so as to create glare which can blind a person to slip-and-trip hazards.
In another blog post we will discuss similar principles as it applies to getting into and out of your home. Find it now in our Active Tips or clicking on this link: Getting In and Out of Your Home.
Take care, Julie O.T.