They’re more expensive, but they last a long time and work well. Good lighting is key to avoid straining your eyes and tripping over unseen objects.
You may also consider motion-sensor lights in places like your stairwell. They turn on as soon as they detect motion. No flipping a switch required.
They may serve both practical and decorative purposes, but mats and area rugs are huge tripping hazards.
More than 2.5 million elderly individuals take a trip to the emergency room each year for fall-related injuries, according to the CDC. Protruding rugs can be one of the main culprits.
If you want to keep your area rugs and mats, make sure the corners are secured. You can do this by finding an adhesive that will keep corners grounded.
Second, textured floors provide better grip for your feet and, as a result, better slip resistance. You don’t want to go flying the second your floors get wet.
Vinyl is also a great option. It’s softer on your feet than tile is and has most of the perks that porcelain has, sans longevity.
When you keep your dishes in your cupboard, it’s harder to reach. You have to extend your upper body to grab them. If you can’t reach, you have to use a stepping stool, which can increase the chances of falling or straining a muscle from over reaching.
Drawers display all stored items at a glance and eliminate a lot of bending and reaching.
Place a grab bar on the outside of your shower and on all interior walls of your shower so that you can safely navigate the space.
Make sure there’s a sturdy hand rail available throughout your entire stairwell. It’s also important to include a grab bar near any steps your home may have.
They aren’t all about function. You can find stylish grab bars in beautiful finishes such as stainless steel, brass, chrome and more.
You won’t have to hunch over your vanity if you increase your bathroom counter height to 36 inches. This can alleviate stress on your back.
If you’re designing your home to comply with American Disabilities Act guidelines and ensure wheelchair accessibility, your counters must not exceed 34 inches in height. Click here to read more about ADA guidelines.
You don’t have to increase your counter height if a lower counter height is more convenient for your body type.
If you’re installing new countertops in your kitchen or bathroom, request rounded or bull-nosed edge profiles. Granite, quartz, and soapstone are hard surfaces and can certainly cause a bruise or two.
Additionally, no-step entries and thresholds reduce the chances of tripping over a step or elevated surface.
The Aging in Place Council suggests eliminating steps in several areas, including the entry from your walkway to your front door and thresholds between rooms inside your home.
You might also consider a flat shower entry to minimize tripping and slipping and to make the space wheelchair accessible.
The less time you spend standing in your shower, the less chances you have of slipping and falling. A shower bench also takes pressure off of your feet, knees, and back.
Always install a handheld shower head next to your bench so that you can sit and wash yourself. Handhelds are adjustable and movable for added convenience.
Keeping your microwave above your counter can be potentially dangerous. Hot liquids can splash in your face as you’re removing a soup or water from a higher elevation.
Below-the-counter microwaves save counter space but increase the amount of bending.
The standard clearance space in kitchens is 36 inches between cabinets, walls, and appliances.
However, wheelchair accessibility requires more clearance space. Read more about ADA guidelines for clearance space here.
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