How to Keep the Balance-Impaired Independent ... and Safe?
March 10, 2014 7:42 AM Subscribe
My parents, who are in their early 80's, both have spinal stenosis, which means both have mobility issues. It's a bum leg that affects balance in one case; in the other, periodic bouts of numbness in one or both legs. Both parents have done stints in physical therapy, both are lax about exercising regularly and, as of the day before yesterday, both have now fallen on the brick floor of the indoor sun porch. To date, there's been no real injury, and I want to keep it that way. At the very least, I want to ensure that the risk of harm is minimized and no heads are cracked. Difficulty level: a floor that floods (and mold), a large house, and exhaustingly stubborn parents.
posted by Violet Blue to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The sun porch in question has a roof, glass windows, siding and is fully furnished, but there's no heat or proper indoor flooring. The space was originally an outdoor bricked-in patio, and when it was enclosed the brick floor was not replaced. In snowy or rainy weather, the sand between the bricks gets soaked, so fighting mold on the bricks is an on-going chore. My parents won't consider replacing the floor, so assume it's permanent. Also assume that aesthetics are of primary concern to my artistic parents, so any soft non-slip floor covering need be not only mold-proof and/or easily cleaned, but also pretty darned attractive.
The space is probably 10x8, but we would only really need to cover the main pathways and the area beside their chairs. Do you know of any modestly priced floor coverings that might fit the bill?
On a couple of related notes: The house is enormous, and hearing is sometimes a problem. For emergencies like falls, the parents aren't likely to hear each other if they're not nearby. Does anybody have any suggestions for cheap one-button intercoms or baby monitors that could be *easily* set up in several rooms, including the sun porch?
Finally, on two occasions a parent has had to sleep downstairs. Does anybody have any suggestions for modestly priced light, but comfortable, cots or rollaway beds?
Got any other suggestions or thoughts for addressing parental safety concerns? If so, please fire away. I can use all the help I can get.
TLDR: Need cute, inexpensive large nonslip waterproof floor coverings (to help break falls), a rollaway bed, and an intercom system. Can you suggest anything?
It may be worth noting that the parents use the sun porch frequently throughout the day, and that won't change, which is why safety issues there must be addressed ASAP. Also, yes, both parents have access to walkers and canes, but they don't tend to use them indoors, and I obviously can't control whether they do.