Some time ago, a few friends, one in her senior years, were having an afternoon outing. They arrived at their destination and as they entered the building, it was noted that there were a significant number of stairs to climb before reaching the area where they intended to go. There was however, a hand railing with a 4 to 5″ wide top, which would have been well suited to slide a hand along for balance, but because of its width, did not allow a person climbing the stairs with a solid hand-grip. Assessing the situation, the senior assured her friends that by using 2 hands to hold on, getting to the top of the stairs would not pose a problem….and it didn’t….that is, until it came time to leave the building. It seemed that descending the stairs was more problematic than ascending them and it required the help of some of the others to ensure the safe arrival of the senior to the bottom of the stairs.
It is in these instances, that we realize the importance of understanding our senior’s needs. Details such as a handrail size, proper lighting, and non slip surfaces on the stairs and flooring are elevated to top priority when it comes to finding a home that meets the needs of our seniors. It’s the details that we often take for granted when we are ‘less old’ and more able ourselves, that need to be rethought when it comes to caring for our aging loved ones.
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