Care home residents are three times more likely to fall than their community dwelling peers and ten times more likely to sustain a significant injury as a result . By thinking about the flooring in high-risk areas, such as the bathroom, falls can be minimised. Here Stuart Reynolds, Head of Product and Marketing at AKW, explains key things to include.
Ensure the flooring meets anti-slip standards – accessible bathroom flooring should conforms to both HSE and International standards and have high barefoot and footwear slip resistance. If possible, choose flooring such as AKW’s new anti-slip vinyl flooring, which has a PTV (Pendulum Test Value) that exceeds wet room requirement standards, providing complete peace of mind for end users and care home managers.
Avoid changes in floor colour that can create confusion – a person with dementia or visual impairment may assume that the colour change from flooring to a shower tray means there is a step up or down and fall. To avoid this, ensure that the wet room is finished using safety flooring in a single colour and doesn’t incorporate large speckles. The large speckles can be misinterpreted as pieces of dust or dirt that a person with dementia will try and pick up and potentially fall over whilst doing so.
Avoid patterns on the flooring – Avoid the use of shiny flooring, as this can be perceived as being wet. Also choose a floor colour that is uniform and doesn’t contain a pattern or raised dimples, as these can be mistaken for dirt by someone with dementia and can lead to an increased fall risk.
AKW’s new anti-slip vinyl flooring range meets all of these risk requirements. Available in six colourways, the design of this durable safety flooring has been developed considering the risk of falls factors such as slip resistance, visual contrast and texture.
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