Ask any senior and they can tell you how important a sturdy handrail is for their safety as well as their comfort. Many older people suffer from arthritis, decreased mobility, heart disease, osteoporosis, and other medical issues that make a handrail crucial to prevent dangerous falls. So if you’re building a new railing, keep railing safety for the elderly in mind and consider using ADA compliant handrails. For more statistics, details, and specific railing recommendations, please scroll down.
Railing Safety for the Elderly
As our bodies lose strength and agility, mounting or descending a set of stairs can become tremendously difficult. This decreased mobility means that falls are more likely. In addition, they’re more dangerous due to seniors’ frailty. Older bodies do not cope with trauma as quickly or thoroughly as younger bodies, which means that a minor fall can result in a severe injury or even death. Just one bad fall can cause lacerations, broken bones, a hip fracture, or head trauma, amongst other injuries. One in three adults over the age of 65 falls each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and over 22 thousand seniors died from unintentional injuries caused by falls in 2011. Plus, amongst seniors, falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries (source).
As you can see, this is a critical issue that should not be overlooked. Although there are ways for seniors to prevent falls (exercise, regular doctor visits, shoes with good friction), it is also important that we provide sturdy and supportive handrails to give seniors the assistance they need.
Safe Railings for Seniors
Now that you know why railings are so important, let’s discuss the elements of a safe railing for seniors. If you’re shopping for railings, look for these features for best results:
- ADA Compliancy. An ADA compliant handrail adheres to the standards created by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It provides a continuous, smooth, and supportive surface at just the right height, making it perfect for seniors as well as people with disabilities.
- Sturdiness. If you’re concerned about railing safety for the elderly, decorative features and colors should not be your primary concern. Instead, focus on finding a sturdy railing that won’t let your seniors down. It should be able to support a large amount of weight without compromising its stability.
- High Quality. Choose a railing from a trusted manufacturer to ensure that you’re using strong, reliable, and high-quality materials. In addition, take your time with the installation (or hire a professional) because quality construction is just as important as great materials and design.
If you’re interested in purchasing ADA compliant handrails, be sure to check out MMC Fencing & Railing. In our online store, you’ll find the aluminum continuous handrail, an ADA compliant system that comes with a lifetime limited warranty. It is available in all of our standard powder coating colors, it’s durable and reliable, and it complements a number of different railing systems. To learn more about this handrail system, please check out this previous blog post. And if you have any questions about our ADA compliant handrail system, please give us a call at 1-866-931-5002 or click here to request a quote. We look forward to hearing from you!