Falls are a common cause of injury and stairs are a common place that falls can happen in the home. Here are 5 strategies that can improve safety on the stairs:
1. Handrails are strongly recommended. If possible have handrails on both sides of the stairwell when possible. The handrails are best positioned at elbow height and extend the rails the length of the steps.
2. Use low-glare overhead lighting. Have a light switch located both at the top and bottom of the stairs.
3. Keep the top and bottom of stairs clear clutter and throw rugs. These are a tripping hazard.
4. Mark the leading edge of the first and last steps with bright paint or light-reflecting tape that contrasts with the background color of the flooring. Solid, bright colors such as red, orange, and yellow are generally the easiest to see because of their ability to reflect light.
Distinguishing colors within each of the following groups may be more difficult for some individuals who have low vision: Navy blue, brown, and black, Blue, green, and purple- Pink, yellow, and pale green
5. If you have reading glasses, remove them as you go down the steps. If you have bifocals or progressive lenses, position your glasses so the stairs are clearly seen.