Every June, the National Safety Council celebrates National Safety Month. This year the theme is “What I Live For”, and they are focusing on several different topics to keep you safe in your home, one of them being slips, trips and falls.
About 2.5 million nonfatal falls were treated in emergency rooms last year. More than 250,000 hip fractures are reported each year, with 95 percent of them being caused by a fall.
Since flooring is one of the major factors in contributing to a severe fall, using materials that reduce the risk of falling or slipping is important especially if you have an at-risk person living in your home. What is the best type of flooring?
Carpeting offers several advantages. Carpets offer a slip resistant surface, and a cushioned surface that may reduce injury if a fall takes place. However, carpets can be a hindrance especially for elderly that may need assistance with walking. Wheelchairs can find if difficult to move over plush carpeted surfaces. Also, canes and walkers can get caught up on carpet surfaces and lead to falls.
If carpets are overly soft or plush, the cushion may interfere with mobility, especially if a family member has difficulty maintaining balance (which may be the case with people suffering from Parkinson’s or a stroke). While carpets can be of benefit, its important to understand your family’s needs.
Another choice may be in choosing vinyl flooring. Vinyl flooring is improving all the time, with luxury options available in many colors, styles and patterns. Vinyl can provide a more stable surface to support balance – important with mobility or balance issues – and can be cushioned to prevent injury in case of a fall. Keep in mind that vinyl can be slippery in some cases in wet conditions, so it is important to maintain vinyl and keep it dry in high risk areas.
Have additional questions about the right flooring choice for your home situation? Stop by or give us a call today; we’d be happy to share our experiences with you.