November is the Sixth Annual Falls Prevention Month Across Canada. I have spent my entire career literally climbing on every conceivable type of staircase. Homes, cottages, schools, offices, arenas, lodges, basements, attics, storefronts, back rooms, circular, spiral, winding, straight, steep, shallow, concrete, carpeted…I can go on. I have done this because of the overwhelming reality that people need assistance in navigating the stairs when they age and because a fall can change everything. Let’s Not Fall into Fall
Stairs are an integral factor in architecture that ties floors together, attempt to level changes in grade and add aesthetic value…Do you ever notice that Royalty always descend onto their admirers on a sweeping grand staircase!
But as we age, the stairs become more evil then necessary especially if we are not aware or not prepared to continue to use them safely. There is significant data and statistics that illustrate the dangers of falling on the stairs, but most people have clearly learned from a young age that the stairs can be dangerous. Climbing them for the first time is definitely a watershed moment in a person’s life…learning how to avoid carrying the laundry up for your spouse becomes a tactic later in life…like I say, they become more evil then a necessity as we age.
Regardless of your position in life, stairs will always be around us. They are an ancient invention that hasn’t changed much in centuries, so we continue to learn to live with them. They can also be our friend as they can keep us active, they lead to the peace and solitude of upstairs and the lead to the treasures and family warmth that is downstairs. They are not to be feared but certainly respected.
Be mindful of how to use the stairs, when to use them and not use them. Please follow the link to the Falls Prevention Month website for more insight and tips on navigating not just the stairs but all points built around the Falls Loop concept of Be Ready, Be Steady
Our friends at MacMaster University also have some good information on the concept around the fear of falling that is an interesting read.
Jim Closs has been helping people go up and down their stairs for thirty years.