Not surprisingly, tripping and falling is the leading cause of injury for seniors. At home, and in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, one of the most common causes of falling and injury is a poorly secured rug. Victims often report that he or she lost their footing while walking on or around a rug. Luckily, a few minor additions to a rug can be made in order to prevent such accidents. Some alterations include:
• Ensure that the rug is secured to a non-carpeted floor with non-skid adhesives, a rug pad, or rug tape. If the rug is placed over the carpet, be sure that the edges and corners are taped down. Rug corners and edges tend to curl back towards the center, which increases the chance of tripping. Products that prevent this from happening are very affordable and range from $5.99-$12.99 in stores.
• Poor lighting around a rug can increase the chances of an injury occurring. Installing a lamp with a motion-detecting light bulb in the rug’s vicinity will significantly decrease the chance of a trip and fall injury. Motion detecting light bulbs are fairly economical. Bulbs range from $10-$20 at lighting or home improvement stores.
• When picking out a rug, choose only snag-free options. A looped or shag rug is probably not the best choice for the home of a senior citizen. This will almost guarantee that a walker, cane or broken shoe will not get entrapped in the fibers of the carpet.
• Ensure the rug is visible and doesn’t blend into the carpet beneath it. A rug that is too close in color to the rest of the carpet will make edges harder to recognize, making and accidental fall more probable.
Be sure that family members are with an elderly rug buyer. A second opinion is needed to guarantee safety. Take precautions when making home decoration decisions. Basic safety rules should be the top priority in the home of a senior citizen as well as in nursing homes.
Co-written by Brian Dault and Elise Childers for DaultLaw