Health Tip: Stair Safety For Older People

Some elderly people are at heightened risk for falling, especially at home. Six of 10 falls occur within the home -- often due to lax stair safety, the National Institute on Aging says.

The agency offers these safety suggestions:

  • Install tightly-fastened handrails on both sides of the stairs.
  • Always hold the handrails while going up and down stairs.
  • If you need to carry something while using the stairs, hold tightly with one hand, and do not block your view with the item in your hands.
  • Install bright lighting, including switches at both the top and bottom of stairs.
  • Do not stack items on stairs.
  • Install a runner or carpet on stairs, or use no-slip strips.

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