Prevent Senior Falls in Commercial and Medical Settings

Prevent Senior Falls

It’s important to prevent senior falls, especially men and women who are 65 and older who have a significantly increased risk of falling compared with younger individuals. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Falling is the top cause of injury in this age group. About 60 percent of these incidents happen at home. The rest occur in a commercial or medical facility, or while walking outside.

Slipping and falling can have serious results, especially if this happens on stairs, concrete, asphalt, or other hard flooring. People tend to be cautious in more obvious risky situations, such as icy sidewalks and indoor wet areas marked with a yellow caution sign. However, an incident sometimes happens when the person never expected a problem. Becoming more aware of possible hazards in commercial and medical settings helps boost safety.

Dusty Flooring

It might not seem like dust would make floors slippery, but this can happen. For instance, sawdust and dust from cement and metalworking reduces the traction of shoe soles. In fact, some dust can be just as slick as a wet surface.

Even if the dust isn’t noticeable, people should be more careful when construction is occurring nearby. Walking through an area where machining work is performed also calls for extra caution.

Furniture Polish on Floors

Wood and metal polish products can be notoriously slick because of their oily chemical content. Maintenance workers are usually instructed to apply the substance with a cleaning cloth or sponge. Nevertheless, some might save time by spraying the polish directly onto furniture and railings. If the substance settles on the floor, the surface can become hazardous.

People should be on guard if they detect the telltale aroma of these products. Checking the floor for an unusual sheen is important.

Unexpected Wet Floors

People expect that floors in commercial establishments might be wet near the entrances on rainy and snowy days, even when mats are present. They know to watch for yellow signs placed by workers when floors are wet. Workers do this after mopping, and after discovering a spill or a machine leaking.

Another factor is related to areas farther into the building. On snowy days, tread on tennis shoes and hiking boots holds snow until it starts melting. Clumps of snow can be tracked far into the building before finally melting or falling from shoe treads. The person then leaves a trail of water behind.

The effect tends to be especially noticeable in public restrooms located near the front of the building. Many customers stop there upon entering the store.

A Person’s Footwear

Although shoes and sandals with smooth soles can be attractive in appearance, these types of footwear put the wearer at higher risk for slipping and falling. Walking on carpeting generally isn’t a problem, but smooth soles can be hazardous on tile, linoleum, and other hard surfaces.

Another issue to be aware of is worn tread on tennis shoes. Wearers may not realize it because they use these shoes so often, but the tread can virtually disappear over time. That leaves the shoes useless for traction.

Staying Safe

By exercising a reasonable amount of caution when out and about, seniors can prevent injuries related to falling. Being alert for potentially slippery flooring due to dust, cleaning materials or water is important. So is wearing shoes with sufficient tread. These measures help keep people safe in potentially hazardous conditions. Most assisted living communities provide for those added levels of protection.

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