Falls can happen at any age and for any number of reasons. Loss of balance can occur from trip hazards, unexpected changes in elevation and compromised depth perception. I happen to come from a long line of “fallers” that can (and will!) fall without warning or provocation. So in honor of Fall Prevention Month we are sharing designer tips to minimize the fall risks in your interiors.
Keep yourself organized. We live an extremely fast-paced life. Many times we are running in the house only to turn around a few minutes later and head right back out. This does not leave a lot of time to make sure everything you just brought in the house with you finds its way to the appropriate place. Take the time to get yourself organized and make the commitment to stay organized.
TIP: Keep entryways and walkways clear of clutter. Create built-in storage opportunities to keep items off the floor and ensure everything has its place.
A thoughtfully considered lighting plan is key to any well-designed interior. With our constant connection to technology our eyes are working harder than ever! Layer the levels of lighting (ambient, task and accent) within your space to create the ideal ambiance throughout the day and night. Check out our blog post A Well Lit Interior for more on layering your lighting and inspiring applications.
TIP: Keep hallways and stairways well lit. The use of indirect lighting provides an all over glow that helps reduce glare and shadows that can affect your depth perception.
Consistency in material and/or material thickness will be the most beneficial considerations for this selection. Every flooring type has its pros and cons. It really is about using the materials you prefer and working with your designer and installer to determine the best product and application for your situation.
TIP: The use of a single flooring materials throughout an entire residence is not necessarily realistic making transitions necessary to bridge the gap between the different materials thicknesses. Flush transitions are definitely preferred to a raised transition and tend to be more easily achievable in new construction than in a remodel.
TIP: When selecting a carpet the pile should be under 1/2 inch and a firm pad should be specified. Area rugs should always be secured to the floor tightly around the entire perimeter.
TIP: No tile can be entirely slip-proof there are industry tests and standards that determine the slip resistance of tiles. Next time you are in the market for tile consider a slip-resistant tile.
FALL FACTS – FROM THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
- Falls are the second leading cause of accidental or unintentional injury deaths worldwide.
- Each year an estimated 646,000 individuals die from falls globally.
- Adults older than 65 years of age suffer the greatest number of fatal falls.
- 37.3 million falls that are severe enough to require medical attention occur each year.