The use of non-slip rugs and mats in areas such as bathrooms, kitchens and bedrooms (actually throughout the entire house) are a must have for any senior who is aging in place. It not only helps to prevent falls but it can also help to cushion a fall as much as possible.
In our article, Safe Carpeting For Seniors we talked about products such as…
- Short cut pile carpeting
- Non-skid mats
- Slip resistant flooring
Short Cut Pile Carpeting
This type of low pile carpeting can be purchased from any floor store in your area or from your local Home Depot or Lowes. For seniors, these types of carpets are excellent because they are much easier to maintain, they are usually less expensive than other types of carpeting and they are very durable.
In addition, it’s much easier to use a walker or quad cane on low pile carpets than other types of carpeting.
The recommendation for thick padding underneath the carpeting is to try to cushion the blow from a fall as much as possible. Of course, it’s best to completely avoid falling but accidents do happen and we want to safeguard against them as much as possible.
Most people think of using non-skid mats in the kitchen and the bathroom. But I’m recommending to use them throughout the house but only if you aren’t able to convince the senior home dweller to get rid of their rugs.
Of course, I think a non-skid mat in front of the shower and bathtub is important. I also think one is important under the kitchen sink or wherever someone might stand for a length of time. But in general, I do recommend that all rugs be removed from the home.
The risk of tripping and falling on the edge of a rug simply isn’t worth having a piece of decor on the floor.
There are two options for non-skid mats.
- Placing an area rug gripper under an existing rug or mat which looks very similar to Dycem but is specifically made for rugs and mats.
- Purchasing a mat (or rug) with a built in non-skid bottom like this kitchen rug from Amazon.
I would also recommend to not ignore the rugs and mats at the front and side doors. There are non-skid rugs specifically meant for the outdoors, like this mat rubber doormat from Amazon. Check the price here.
If you are looking for a very flat type of mat – consider this multipurpose utility mat by Versatex. It comes in 3 sizes, is made out of recycled synthetic rubber. It’s only 0.11 inches thick which makes it a very thin mat, if that is what you are looking for.
Slip Resistant Flooring
Slip resistant flooring is traditionally used in commercial settings but as the senior population has grown extensively, the use of this type of flooring has expanded now to residential homes.
The best types of non-skid flooring are…
- Non-Slip Vinyl
- Cork or Bamboo
- Rubber (although honestly not many people want a rubber floor in the living room!)
There are many brands that sell a variety of these types of floors so I recommend again that you visit a local floor store in your area.