Home Safety and Bathroom Floors
Home safety and bathroom floors are not the first thing things that come to mind when considering bathroom revisions. But every hazard demands attention and flooring is no exception.slo-o-o-owy go-o-o-ey! floor surfaces
Another overlooked pitfall in getting in (and out) of this most important room without mishap is looking at the floor surface difference and therefore the surface height difference.
If your entry is from carpet to tile or linoleum, there is generally a 1/4 inch or more height difference. This can be significant to someone recovering from a stroke or total joint replacement where just a slight change in walking surfaces height OR surface texture can trip an unsuspecting foot. This minimal height difference can act like a speed bump to a walker with 3" or 5" wheels. When looking at your home safety and bathroom floors, consider this surface transition seriously.
Be cautious, and remember to lift the back two legs of the walker up as well to clear a lower to higher difference.
Carpet also has a way of making feet feel very heavy. If you are considering re-flooring a surface or building a home, keep that in mind. The lower the shag, the better. A good, long term keeper is Berber. It is low, mostly looped shag and does not have any tendency to be "sticky."
Throw rugs? You don't have to throw them out but do put them up for the time being. They act like speed bumps to walkers with wheels and the back two legs generally catch the rug and wreak havoc.
In the big picture of home safety and your bathroom floors, one broken hip is one too many! Don't shoot for two - or even one!
Keep in mind that crutch, walker and cane tips don't offer any traction on hard wood floors or tile if their rubber tip has worn through. This can be hard to assess unless you actually look at the bottom of your walking device.
One more tip... tennis balls can be a lifesaver! The rubber tips on the back of walkers (with wheels) are meant to act as no slip brakes. However, on high shag carpet and other surfaces, they can cause the walker to vibrate and/or slightly bounce as the rubber tips try to brake while the user glides along with the wheels in the front. This isn't exactly dangerous however, it can be very annoying and loud. After a short walk to the mailbox, having come in and sat down, you can still feel like your brain is rattling!
Simply take a tennis ball and slice a large X on the bottom. Be careful with the knife! Now, squeeze the tennis ball to open the slit and slip it over your walker tips. Leave the tips on, though as that ball will wear out sooner or later and you will want those tips to "catch" the walker when they do wear out!
In the big picture of home safety and bathroom floors your attention is needed! With high traffic and water everywhere, no wonder is this room sees so many falls! Start now to eliminate falls, medical bills and a slow decline in life (which usually happens after a hip fracture!)