Many of us grew up in a time when elegant home decorating included luxurious carpeting that was soft to the touch and beautiful to look at. But styles change and more recent trends have introduced hardwood, stone, and even more unusual indoor flooring products such as polished concrete. As hardwood, stone and tile floors become more popular, many are left wondering what the best flooring for elderly family is.
We absolutely empathize with those of you who are anxious to try these stylish new hard flooring surfaces, and many of us at Zerorez also have hardwood or stone in our homes. In fact, our company is excellent at cleaning and restoring all of these hard flooring surfaces, so we truly do not have a bias towards one surface over another.
However, there is another growing trend in American society today, and that is the graying of America, with the number of seniors now outpacing the number of younger people coming up in the population. It is a phenomenon happening throughout the world and certainly here in the U.S. as people live longer and family sizes continue to decrease.
You may ask what that has to do with flooring types and styles, and I would simply respond that carpeting provides a less slippery surface than many of the new hard flooring surfaces that are now being installed. It is also a much softer landing for those who are becoming less steady and who may suffer greatly from a slip and fall accident. Hard flooring surfaces are increasing in popularity, and hip fractures and other slip and fall injuries are growing apace.
If you have members in your family who are getting older (and who doesn’t?), it may make sense to consider the benefits of carpet to not only add warmth and color to your home, but also to make it safer and more secure for seniors living in or visiting the home.
It has been well-established by both OSHA and insurance companies that well-maintained carpet help ensure safer floors. Carpeted surfaces are significantly more effective at preventing slips and falls than hard, smooth surfaces. And when accidents do happen, they tend to be less severe on carpet.
Carpet’s inherent safety is borne out by a study of 225 “slip and fall incidents” from hospital records of older patients. Of the group falling on carpet, only 17 percent sustained injury. In the group falling on hard surface flooring, nearly 50 percent sustained injury.
I confess that I have a personal bias in this respect because a few years ago my own father had a bad fall on a hardwood floor and broke his hip and suffered tremendously from the mishap. Monday morning quarterbacking aside, had I realized that such an accident would happen, I would never have put my Dad in harm’s way. And that, quite simply, means carpeting.
Other studies have also shown that carpet can be beneficial and have attributes that are not readily apparent until the surface is no longer there. Things to consider before replacing carpet with a hard surface flooring choice are: safety, acoustics, durability, maintainability, health benefits, comfort and sustainability.
Plush carpet is still a beautiful and comfortable flooring for you or your loved one’s home, but with the growing number of seniors in America today, it should also be one more reason to give carpet a second look.
For more information about cleaning carpet and hard surface flooring such as tile, grout, stone and hardwood, please call the Zerorez office at 949-387-2222 or visit www.zerorezsocal.com. We have many specialized products and services designed to tackle any imaginable floor cleaning challenge using our natural and pure cleaning solutions.
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