Depending on the age of your home, the hallway design can vary a lot. Older homes usually have narrow, dark hallways, while many modern homes feature open-concept spaces with wide hallways.
Regardless of which style your home is, the hallways are high-traffic areas that are used throughout the day, by residents and visitors alike. As such, we need to make sure that this part of your home is safe and accessible as people move between different areas of the house.
Today, we’ll look at some easy updates you can make to the hallways in your home to make them fall-proof.
“Beautiful young people are accidents of nature,
but beautiful old people are works of art.“
– Eleanor Roosevelt –
1. Install Grab Bars
Adding grab bars to the walls along your hallway can help seniors with a way to maintain their balance and support themselves as they walk. Consider installing bars at regular intervals or near areas where they may need to turn or change direction.
Grab bars are an excellent way to provide support and stability. Ensure they are installed properly into the wall studs so they will hold a person’s entire weight.
2. Add More Lights
Good lighting is essential for seniors with vision issues. Ensure that the hallway is well-lit, with light switches at both ends of the hallway for easy access.
Consider adding motion-sensor lights to provide additional illumination as people move along the hallway. Tape lights can also be installed along the baseboard or crown molding of walls. “Clapper” lights or a smart home system allow for lights to be turned on and off easily from a cell phone or other device.
There are many ways to add more lighting to the hallway that are both functional and pretty.
3. Remove Tripping Hazards
Another way to fall-proof your hallway is to remove any potential tripping hazards. It’s important to ensure that the hallway is free of any obstacles such as loose rugs, uneven flooring, or clutter.
Too much furniture or clutter also limit the width of the corridor which makes it difficult for mobility devices to navigate through.
Keep the space tidy and clear of any obstacles that could cause a fall.
4. Consider the Flooring
The type of flooring used in the hallway is also be an important factor.
Carpeting can be more forgiving if a senior falls, but also is more difficult to navigate if they use a walker or wheelchair.
If area rugs are used in the hallway, secure them with non-slip adhesive and smooth the edges with carpet tape.
Hardwood, vinyl, or tile flooring are options that are easier to move on and clean.
Ensure that whatever flooring you choose is slip-resistant to prevent slips and falls.
5. Provide Seating
Adding a place to sit along the hallway can also be helpful for seniors who may need to take a break while walking. Consider adding seating at regular intervals along the hallway to provide a place for seniors to rest if needed.
If you’re going to add some seating along the hallway, make sure it’s sturdy enough to provide support without the risk of toppling over if someone leans on it.
6. Install Handrails
Finally, if there are any steps or changes in elevation in the hallway, handrails should be installed for additional support.
As with grab bars, it’s important to have the handrails installed correctly to ensure they can easily hold someone’s weight.
Handrails provide a great way for seniors to maintain their balance and navigate these areas with confidence.
When looking at Aging in Place, and making your home safe and accessible, don’t neglect the hallways. With a few adjustments you can create a safe and easy-to-navigate space for anyone with mobility challenges.
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- If you would like more Aging In Place tips, here is another blog that may interest you: 3 Easy AIP Modifications for Your Entry Way
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