3 Potentially Fatal Hazards of Using Sub-Par Fall Protection
According to the AARP, 90 percent of seniors desire to stay in their own homes rather than live in a retirement community/home. This trend, known as aging-in-place, is expected to continue growing in popularity.
As more and more of our elderly loved ones opt to age-in-place it is becoming increasingly important to educate oneself with all the safety products available in today’s market to keep our elderly loved ones out of harm’s way.
In the past several weeks we have blogged about the qualities one should look for in fall protection mats and flooring. We have touched on topics such as the difference between foam, gel and rubber mats, infection control and the difference between fall protection and injury prevention.
This week’s essential question to ask if you are thinking of utilizing a fall protection mat or fall protection floor is:
How will the fall protection surface impact daily activities?
This question is specifically important to consider if your elderly loved one is balance impaired, shuffles their feet when walking and/or has issues with mobility that requires the of use wheel chairs, walkers or any other wheeled devices.
Soft and squishy foam-based fall protection mats generally need to be moved if an at-risk individual ambulatory or moving about. If these mats are not moved out of the way they may pose serious risks including:
- Tripping Hazards — Thick, squishy mats can cause a fall for “shufflers”.
- Cause a fall — Thick, squishy, unstable mats may cause a fall to occur due to their lack of stability, or make it challenging to turn or pivot if a toe or heel “catches” on a too-soft surface.
- Push/Pull Issues– Rolling loads can cause too much compression of soft material to allow individuals and caregivers to easily move wheeled devices.
For these reasons, a typical protocol is to move the mat if the at-risk person is up and about, or the caregiver is providing care. The best solution is to use SmartCells fall protection flooring, which provides protection without the use of matting. But, if fall protection matting is used, you’ll want to find one that is cushioned enough to protect your elderly loved one in case of a fall yet stable enough to allow them to move with confidence and safety?
The answer is SmartCells Fall Protection matting and flooring.
While remaining responsive enough to cushion and protect in the case of a fall, the unique SmartCells Cushioning dual-stiffness technology, provides caregivers and balanced-impaired individuals a stable surface to walk or roll across safely without having to move it out of the way. The SmartCells fall protection technology is “statistically indistinguishable from a standard rigid floor” according to independent, international researchers, while at the same time providing significant force attenuation. Foam-based mats would need to be 4-5 times thicker than SmartCells to provide the same protection.
Comparative studies and research indicate substantial reduction in fall-related injuries such as contusions and skin tears when SmartCells fall injury prevention flooring or mats are used.
SmartCells Fall Protection mats are available in a variety of colors (Black, Light Brown, and Grey) and configurations ranging from build-your-own mats and custom flooring to pre-sized mats (2×3, 3×5 and 24×68).
SmartCells Fall Protection: We’ll be there when you can’t be.
-By Lincoln Hollis