Using the staircase can take much longer, with your muscles and bones starting to ache and your body becoming breathless. This can lead to a fall, which on the stairs can have fatal consequences.
As we know, falls are the most common cause of injury related deaths in people aged 75 and over. In fact, according to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA):
In 2009 in England and Wales alone, people aged 65 or over accounted for 7,475 deaths as a result of an accident of which 49% were due to a fall.”
The ROSPA also explain that the largest proportion of accidents are falls from stairs and steps, with 60% of deaths resulting from accidents on stairs. Common injuries suffered from falls include arm, leg and shoulder injuries, with 25% of falls causing injury to more than one part of the body.
You may have seen our top tips for older people to follow when it comes to staying safe at home. Today’s article focuses on what you can do to try and prevent an accident from happening whilst you’re using the staircase in your home.
Take Your Time
The first tip for getting up and down your staircase safety would be to take your time. If you often struggle to maintain your breath and balance, you should not be rushing to get up those stairs. The same is true if you have weaker bones or muscles due to a medical condition.
We advise that you take a nice deep breath before you start walking up the staircase and grab hold of the banister. You should keep hold of the banister during your trip up the stairs and take each step as it comes.
The same advice is recommended for your return journey back down the stairs. In reality you should really take it even easier going down your staircase, as if you lose your balance or trip you will go tumbling down the stairs.
Ask for Help
Another tip which is easy to apply is to ask for help up and down the stairs. If you live with a partner, family member or friend you can always ask them to give you a hand up the staircase. People will be more than happy to protect you by giving you a helping hand.
If your loved ones are visiting and you know that you need to get something from upstairs at some point, ask one of them to go for you. This will save you the task of doing so later on. Older people should always take advantage of having loved ones around them.
Never be afraid of asking for help. Your loved ones want to make sure that you are safe.
A Lift for your Staircase
An alternative to walking up and down the staircase is a stairlift. This mechanical, motorised device allows you to take a comfortable seat as it carries you up and down the stairs. There are a range of models available, with different designs available for different shaped staircases.
The stairlift will give you a much needed rest as it carries you up the stairs. The fears of tripping or falling are taken away with this one piece of machinery. We would advise that you do some research before purchasing a stairlift, to ensure that you a buying the most suitable, yet reliable version.
Install a Downstairs Toilet
If the idea of a stairlift doesn’t suit you, then it could be a nice idea to install a downstairs toilet. Older people naturally need to use the toilet more than younger people, which means this is the most common reason to use the staircase during the day.
Having a toilet downstairs removes this need to use the staircase, which in-turn decreases the chances of an accident. Of course, having a toilet downstairs also means you don’t have as far to travel to reach it. This means you don’t need to rush, which in itself may trigger a fall.
Installing a downstairs toilet may also increase the value of your home should you ever decide to move.
Consider a Bungalow
If you’re really struggling with your staircase and the ideas shared in this article aren’t an option, it may be for the best if you consider moving to a bungalow. A bungalow removes the obstacle of a staircase, with every room on the same level.
Downsizing from a big house to a bungalow is a common occurrence for older people, as it just makes life much easier. In a bungalow you’re always close to the room that you need to be in next, without having to walk up and down a staircase.
The one floor blue print generally allows for more spacious rooms and more space outside for your garden. Of course, one level also makes a bungalow easier to clean. There is no need to carry a hoover up and down stairs, or any of the other cleaning equipment you may use.
Of course, a bungalow is also better for fire safety – as any window can be used as a fire escape.
Staying Safe at Home
Our personal alarm service is a great way of ensuring that you always have somebody to help you if you have a fall at home. In the event of an accident, all you would need to do is to press the red button on your MyAmie Pendant – which can be worn around the wrist or neck.
Our 24-hour Response Team will respond immediately over the loudspeaker on the alarm’s base unit, assess your situation and arrange help in the form of your emergency contacts and, if needed, the emergency services.
Here at Lifeline24, we of course want you to feel safe and secure in your own home so we recommend installing a few of the above solutions to avoid accidents in the home, and on the stairs.
For more information on purchasing one of our life-saving personal alarms, please speak to one of our friendly advisors on 0800 999 0400. Alternatively, complete our contact us form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.