Tricky brain teaser tests how quickly you can spot the common hazard that leads to falls

19 February, 2024
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A new brainteaser is challenging individuals to spot a lesser-known hazard that can cause trips and falls in the home. Stairlift and home lift company, Stannah’s occupational therapist, Kate Sheehan warns of this one common hazard lurking unnoticed in the home is a leading cause of falls among older adults. 

The tricky puzzle comes as an alarming statistic highlights the difficulties the elderly face – three in 10 over 65s and almost half of over-80s in the UK experiences at least one fall a year.  

What’s more, around 290,000 people are seriously injured every year as a result of falls on steps or stairs; for the older generation especially, the consequences of falls are not limited to injuries. A fall can result in a lack of confidence or fear of falling, which can decrease their mobility around the home – and being able to move freely between the floors of the home is crucial for independence in later life. 

While these numbers may be unsettling, they emphasise the critical need for awareness, preventative measures, and a collective commitment to creating a safer environment for our loved ones. 

It's important to recognise and address potential hazards around the home. For example, tripping hazards like loose rugs, uneven flooring, and misplaced objects can easily become tripping hazards. Slippery bathroom surfaces, lack of grab bars, or poorly arranged furniture can obstruct walking paths.      

One way to reduce potential hazards is to declutter, this goes beyond maintaining a tidy home; it's about taking proactive step in injury prevention, particularly for our elderly adults. For instance, removing unnecessary items creates more open and navigable spaces, providing easy movement for seniors and reducing the risk of falls.   

Only one in five people can spot the most common hazard within 15 seconds – can you? 


Commenting on the hidden hazard, Kate Sheehan, stairlift and home lift company Stannah’s occupational therapist, said: 

" The statistics highlighting the frequency of falls among older people are a stark reminder of the challenges they may face. Falls among older adults can lead to severe consequences, ranging from fractures, muscle strains and these can lead to overall decline in their general wellbeing. The physical and emotional toll of a fall can be significant, often resulting in decreased mobility, increased dependency, and a reduced quality of life. 

 "I cannot stress enough the importance of creating a safe home to live well in. Conduct a thorough assessment of the home, looking for potential hazards such as loose rugs, cluttered pathways, and poor lighting. Small modifications, like installing grab bars and improving lighting, can make a huge difference in preventing falls.  

“Encouraging regular exercise is another key element to preventing accidents.  Physical activity not only enhances strength and balance but also boosts overall wellbeing. Tailored exercise routines that suit individual abilities can be a game-changer in reducing the risk trips and falls." 



ANSWER: The loose rug on the floor in the room.  

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