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Plan ahead for accident prevention when using the stairs

12:00am | & Elderly Care

Whatever age you are, you should treat the stairs in your home with extra care.

Accidents can happen anywhere in the home, but by their very nature, accidents on the stairs tend to be more serious. According to RoSPA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), more than 4,200 children each year are involved in falls on the stairs, with boys more likely to be involved than girls.

In most of these cases, it is too much speed and not enough thought which causes the accident, as children slip while racing up and down stairs. But the good news is that children, with young supple bones, tend to ‘bounce’ and in most cases their injuries are relatively minor.

More worryingly, researchers from Loughborough University found that more than 100,000 elderly people are treated each year for injuries sustained on the stairs, with more than half of these ending up in hospital. Sadly, more than 1,000 people die each year in the UK after falling down the stairs.

There are many reasons for these accidents, including:

  • Objects left on the stairs and causing a trip hazard
  • Worn or loose stair carpets
  • Missing or inadequate bannister rails
  • People carrying loads up and down the stairs
  • People wearing loose or ill-fitting footwear such as old and worn slippers
  • Pets following their owners up and downstairs and causing them to trip
  • Long clothes or dressing gowns which get caught under people’s feet
  • Poorly lit staircases, especially where people have impaired vision
  • A wide variety of medical conditions which cause poor balance, dizziness, getting out of breath and even blackouts on the stairs
  • Reduced mobility and loss of physical strength through conditions such as arthritis.

The sad thing is that many of these accidents and even deaths could be avoided simply by putting more thought and planning into the way we use our stairs. Because we use them so often, we tend to do so without thinking about it. But the stairs are a dangerous place and complacency can lead to catastrophe.

Many of the reasons for accidents listed above can be easily overcome. For example, make sure your stairs, stair carpets and bannisters are maintained in good condition; don’t carry loads which are too heavy or awkward; don’t wear unsuitable clothes or shoes; don’t leave clutter on the stairs; and do think about what you’re doing when using the stairs.

It’s a little different if you have a medical condition which makes using the stairs difficult and potentially dangerous. But you can still eliminate the risk of a fall on the stairs, by installing an Acorn Stairlift. It will allow you to glide up and down stairs in safety and comfort as many times a day as you like, without having to worry about aches and pains, breathlessness or dizziness, or the risk of a fall.

An Acorn Stairlift effectively turns your two or three-storey home into a bungalow, by removing the obstacle of stairs and the inherent risk they can hold for older people or those with particular medical conditions. Investing in an Acorn Stairlift represents valuable forward planning in accident prevention, by making sure you can continue to negotiate the stairs safely and enjoy all or your home for many years to come.

Unlike many of our competitors, we can install our award-winning Acorn Stairlifts in just a few days of an order being taken, even on more complex curved staircases. We can even install next day if urgency is paramount. The first step is to book a free no-obligation home survey by your local Acorn surveyor, who will be able to assess your specific needs, measure and evaluate your staircase, and advise on the most appropriate and cost-effective type of stairlift for you.

Our experienced surveyor will also be able to answer any questions you might have and provide a detailed quote, with no hidden extras and valid for up to 12 months. As the world’s biggest dedicated manufacturer, retailer and installer of home stairlifts, we’re confident you won’t find a better option than a British-built Acorn Stairlift. And because we deal direct with the public, we’re confident you won’t find better value for money either.

If you’re concerned about safety on the stairs, either for yourself or a loved one, start your accident prevention planning today by calling Acorn free on 0800 073 9775.

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