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Mother is moving to a new facility. It is an upgrade from her last facility. The agent mentioned that her new apartment has hardwood floors. I am concerned should she become unstable and have a fall. Would she be safer if we carpeted the apartment?

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Hospital beds can now be put down almost to the floor, this makes the fall not so high off the floor. For Moms AL I bought a 5 inch boxspring her mattress was already about six or seven inches.
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My mother had great strong bones, and for years when she was still on her own, she would fall out of bed (onto carpet) and never get hurt. Then she had a (brief) stay in a nursing home for rehab and fell on their ridiculously hard floor, and broke a hip. I vote for carpet. Not shag of course, but a soft yet solid tight weave. She could even handle her walker better on carpet. On the hard linoleum it would roll away from her. Carpet can be installed with an actual waterproof layer (plastic or vinyl or something?), to protect the floor underneath. That's what's in my house, and I just didn't worry about spills or stains until that phase of caregiving was over, and underneath the carpet, the hardwood floor was still beautiful. Best wishes to you!
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Hardwood floors called laminate. BUT AND A BIG ONE-ABSOLUTELY NO SCATTER RUGS! That is an elders biggest trip hazard.
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On rugs you can get "skis" u put in place of the leg coasters.
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Actually, I am surprised since they could slip on hardwood. Moms facility is carpeted with indoor/outdoor and tile in the bathrooms. Don't put area rugs down. They are a tripping hazards.
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There is a further choice and that is rubber. They tend to be fairly boring colours and usually plain (although you can get some great non slip ones for the bathroom) But they ARE natural and they ARE softer than concrete. Just a thought because they clean up very very easily.

I do have carpet in the room Mum eats in but I protect it with a thick large clear vinyl square which grips to the carpet so doesn't present a trip hazard but you can also get self adhesive protectors which have to be renewed every 6-8 weeks but I believe they are quite good too though I have never used them - decorators use them on stairs when they want to protect the carpets from paint so I think they wont be a trip hazard for that reason alone.
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Our chief concerns for mom, who is well along in the stages of Alzheimer's disease, are that she would fall and break a hip (leg, arm, etc.) or develop a respiratory infection that would lead to pneumonia; so hardwood vs. carpet is a 50/50 proposition. If your loved one uses a rolling walker, carpet makes it more difficult to use and still doesn't prevent the possibility of breaking a hip, et.al. Area rugs, as with anything that creates change in floor elevation, increase the likelihood of tripping and falling with or without a walker. Carpet is almost impossible to clean completely, and frequent incontinence mishaps make it a poor choice as it's a great incubator for mold and bacteria. So, because at this stage mom walks very, very slowly holding onto rails and because we have frequent issues with incontinence, we chose hardwood to hedge our bets. I think that we have to weigh the risks for each person at each stage of his or her (dis)abilities, and keep in mind that choosing one over the other may be only a temporary solution.
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Another idea is to use carpet tiles over existing carpet or hardwood. They usually have a solid rubber backing so are basically water proof and you take up individual tiles to clean or replace. check ny shoes slippers etc to make sure they have a non slip sole and fit well. Lace ups are best but many elders can't reach their feet anymore. Definittely nothing without a back because the foot easily slips off the heal causing the wearer to loose their balance. my daughter brought me a pair, actually a very nice pair from that famous outdoor store in Maine and I put them on thinking they would be quick and easy to put on and a couple of steps later my heel slipped off so they are in the donation pile. What a waste, they were nice sheep skin. (Sorry sheep)
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I don't have a choice since carpet came with the apartment in the IL facility. The spotting is a nightmare and I use a spot cleaning machine frequently. The food spills at the table are a recurring nightmare so I bought an outdoor carpet to place at my dad's chair. Now if he spills it's easy to clean up and since he can't walk it isn't a hindrance (except for me) if one is careful.
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My mom wears "Hipster hip protectors" it's a light girdle with pads on the hips. I too worry about the floors, she has fallen so many times but mostly in the carpeted areas.
I guess you have to think about if your mom has balance issues.
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I don't know if I can mention a brand name, But there is an item called Spot Bot which is a carpet cleaner which is set right over the spot on a carpet. It's made for pets, but works well in a home care situation and is not too expensi
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Solid surface floors are safer. For several reasons.
1. Easily cleanable.
2. Carpet is more likely to wrinkle or catch on a shoe or a walker.
3. It is easier to move a wheelchair, a bed, walker, Hoyer or other equipment on a solid surface than it is carpet.
4. Eliminating transition or thresholds between doors is easier with a solid surface than with carpet. Each threshold becomes a trip hazard.
While you think that a fall would be more cushioned by carpet the reality is that the carpet would do little to cushion a fall. And people that are fall risks would be a fall risk no matter the surface. In addition most people that have fallen and break a hip it has been shown that most are breaks then the fall. A brittle bone just needs to be out of alignment due to a turn or a twist and the bone will break.
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That cork does sound good, though, it's not as tough. I am going to be putting down a new floor in my house soon and I was leaning towards hardwood. The trouble is that while I don't have fall issues, I have lost the fat on the bottom of my feet. Odd, I know. It's a medical condition.

I wear shoes, all the time, because it's just not comfortable walking without them, unless I'm on carpet. And you don't want carpet in the dining room.

So, if anyone has any input on cork floors, please post.
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Just remember people that cork is not as resilient as other flooring although if you get tiles you can just replace a tile
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Cork is an excellent idea. I've seen it sold in large interlocking squares.
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Good idea Jude I had not thought of cork
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Just for info I have been advised that sealed cork is the best flooring since it is waterproof and softer than wood. As for a carpet....hmm Mum has a carpet - I have to shampoo it at least 3 times A WEEK because she is incontinent and dribbles (or full on pours) when she stands from the commode. She tends to throw a lot of food on the floor and even more tea gets spilled. Occasionally she will soil as she stands but that is rare as yet. Whatever you have it has to be deep cleanable because ultimately you will need it to be. You can get some very very spongy vinyl now though which also might be worth considering.
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I've been trying to get all rugs out of my parent's house for over a year. Man, my mom is resistant on it. I suppose it'll take a hip fracture, before she lets them go. I do make sure they are thin and as flat to the floor as possible. But, still.......
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And MIL burst her lip open several times falling forward into furniture because she didn't want to get rid of her swivel chair and she was furniture surfing.
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Usually floors underneath carpeting are hard like concrete. At least wood is softer than concrete. My MIL used to get her walker caught on her area rugs. She fell in her bathroom - tile - and gave herself many a hematoma. She fell in her kitchen - also tile - and gave herself many a black eye. Yet when she fell in her living room on the wood floor she didn't do as much damage. Wall-to-wall if it's on top of wooden floors would offer the most protection but again, if it's atop concrete it's a hard landing.
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From an elders point of view (recent changes in health) I find hardwood floors especially stairs very dangerous. I have also had a bad fall on carpet so who can tell. I tend to walk around at home barefoot because I feel personally it gives me better traction even though I am advised to always wear well fitting shoes. My walker with front wheels seems to be easy to control but the normal home really does not have room to use one indoors. Another option is to use the socks they give you in the hospital with the little sticky blobs on the sole.
A hard floor is definitely more hygienic and easier to keep clean but definitely deadly when wet. Railings certainly help a lot especially on both sides of the stairs.
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I read a study about how seniors who live in carpeted homes suffer less fractures than those with other floors. (This was about 3 years ago.) If I can find the link, I'll PM it to you. However, having carpet in a LTC facility may not be practical. I mean, just the sanitary aspect of it. With all the accidents that happen.....there is no way getting the floors clean would be possible with carpet. Do you have the option of putting carpet in her apt area? It's a lot to consider.
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I have "true" hardwood floors in my home. They are slippery when clean and polished, even with just a satin finish. Everyone knows to be careful, and nobody has even fallen (without trying, I have 13 grandkids who love to slide across the floor!) In a NH, the cleanliness of "hardwood" is usually the 1st factor--carpet is so hard to keep clean. Messes happen and the smells linger, people will catch a toe on the carpet--mother has carpet in 2 of her rooms and she has fallen myriad times on the carpet, never on the "hardwood". It's not slippery at all.
I know what my hardwood floors are "worth" and I cannot see ANY NH putting out that kind of money on a floor that is going to need replacing every 5 years.
Carpet does "seem" warmer, but IMHO, is a greater fall risk. NO SCATTER rugs, either, as much as you might want to dress up the place, those things are definite fall risks.
I imagine the "hardwood floors" are laminate and those are not slippery, even when wet.
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I can see both sides of this question.   My Dad, who used a rolling walker, had no problems with his walker on low pile carpeting.   But if there was an messy mishap, the carpet was harder to clean up then a tiled or  coated hardwood floor.

If I was an elder, I think I rather fall on a carpet then hardwood floors.   By the way, I bet the flooring isn't real hardwood but a product that looks like hardwood, thus would be softer than the real wood.  Usually you can tell as when walking over the floor that has been installed a few years ago there will be a clack clack type sound.   Kinda like the older parquet wood floors.
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Dear daughterlu,

I think they normally prefer hardwood because its easier if they are using a walker or wheelchair. Carpet would be harder to push through. But I understand your concern about falls as well. It is a tough decision. I don't know if they are any grab bars or railings around the apartment that would help with balance.
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