A person's needs change as they get older, and these needs can cover many aspects of life that might not seem immediately important. If you have an elderly relative or friend who needs to update the flooring in their home, it can be helpful for them to select an option that best reflects their needs. What are some of the flooring options you might want to suggest?
A Matter of Traction
Although wooden floors (whether natural wood or a faux wood laminate) might look good, they won't offer a great degree of traction. The same goes for linoleum flooring. Yes, they can be wiped clean, but the smooth surface increases the chance of slipping and falling. Carpeting is by far the best choice, but what type of carpet would be the most sensible option?
A nylon or acrylic carpet will be less prone to stains, which is helpful in any household regardless of the occupant's age and lifestyle. There might be slightly more effort involved in cleaning a carpet as opposed to a smooth form of flooring (vacuuming instead of sweeping or mopping), but short-pile carpeting is less able to retain dirt and debris than its long-pile counterparts, meaning that a quick once-over with the vacuum cleaner is all that will be needed for optimum results. Still, a long-pile carpet does offer more cushioning than a short-pile carpet, which can have some key benefits if someone was to fall down onto it. This issue can be overcome by what goes beneath the carpet.
Choosing the Underlay
You wouldn't lay a carpet without first applying an appropriate underlay to the floor, and a cushioned underlay can certainly be added during carpet installation. Underlays are available in a variety of thicknesses, and it's just a matter of choosing one that is thicker than the standard option. Although the difference will only be a few millimetres, this can still make a considerable difference in terms of the cushioning ability of the floor. The thickest possible underlay won't necessarily be the best choice. The added cushioning can make it more difficult for some mobility aids (namely a wheelchair) to move across the carpet, so the best choice ultimately depends on the personal circumstances of whomever is living in the household.
When new flooring is needed for an elderly person, it's best to make a choice that reflects their age and subsequent needs.