“While popular thought is that ramps are just for people who can’t otherwise use stairs, that thinking could be holding back seniors from the safety benefits of a handicap ramp,”
Falls Can Happen to Anyone
According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans. A fall can happen to anyone at any time, and the effects can be devastating or even deadly.
If you have stairs leading to your home, you can be susceptible to a fall even if otherwise in good health.
- A change in medication with side effects such as dizziness or vertigo
- Carrying shopping bags in poor weather
- Deteriorating stairs or handrails
- A squirmy grandchild or leashed animal darting away
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, senior falls result in over 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, at the cost of about $50 billion on non-fatal fall injuries.
A survivable but damaging fall can result in months of rehabilitation, loss of wages for those still working, and permanent changes to mobility. Seniors are often well-informed of the genuine risk of heart disease or diabetes, but fall prevention should be at the top of mind for all seniors and those who care for them.
Says Walker, “A National Ramp manufactured, safely installed ramp with handrails is an investment that can pay dividends in both the quality and length of your life.”
Reduce Your Fall Risk Inside Your Home
There are also simple changes that can be made inside the home to reduce the chance of falls, including:
- Installing threshold ramps for patio or porch access, or interior steps below 6” high
- Removing or firmly securing all area and throw rugs
- Increasing light throughout the home
- Upgrading to smart devices (including thermostats, lighting, security systems) that can be monitored and controlled through a phone or tablet
- Installing grab bars in bathrooms