If you're a senior, or if you're responsible for modifying the home of a senior friend or family member, making the right choices when it comes to flooring is important. After all, elderly citizens are more likely than the general population to suffer mobility problems and other health issues, and these can be both exacerbated by certain flooring materials and alleviated by other choices. Here are four ways to make your flooring more senior-friendly.
1. Look for Softer, Padded Options
Seniors are more likely to take a fall. They also tend to have more brittle bones, making serious injuries likely if a fall occurs. For this reason, it is best to avoid hardwood flooring and look for something softer instead. Carpet is the obvious choice, but cork is another good option. Whatever you decide to use, try putting additional padding beneath it. This will lessen the impact energy of each footfall and help prevent more serious injuries from occurring if someone does trip and fall.
2. Avoid Deep Pile Carpets
Carpeting makes a good choice for seniors since it remains quite warm and is also rather soft. However, deep pile carpeting is usually the wrong choice. It's density and longer fibres mean that the foot will fall into it quite deeply every time a step is taken, something that will increase the likelihood of tripping. Additionally, mobility aids, such as wheelchairs, might be hard to use across a piece of deep pile carpeting.
3. Install Underfloor Heating
Underfloor heating is becoming more and more popular, and it can be of particular benefit to seniors. Cold weather is more troublesome for those in their golden years, and circulatory problems often make it particularly hard for the feet to warm up after they have become cold. Underfloor heated can ensure that the floors of a home remain at a comfortable temperature. This protects from colds and the other ailments, and it also keeps the feet feeling toasty warm throughout the year.
4. Lay Down Some Non-Slip Mats
If you have any rugs, make sure you put a non-slip mat beneath them to prevent and unexpected slips. These are also useful to place beneath pieces of furniture. For example, a senior who loses their balance may reach for a table that could then slip away from them if nothing is underneath to stop it. If an item of furniture could slip on the floor beneath it, make sure an anti-slip mat is used.