Cushioned Flooring For Seniors in Testing

As the number of seniors skyrockets with the aging of the baby boomer generation over the next 20 years, innovative technology and product development is in the works to help take the sting out of living longer.

Fall prevention in a key component to keeping older adults out of hospital and free from injury. According to Statistics Canada, falls are the leading cause of injury resulting in hospitalization among seniors.  Many of those falls resulted in broken or fractured bones, and more than a third of fall-related hospitalizations among seniors were associated with a hip fracture.

A Seattle-based flooring company is teaming up with Dr. Fabio Feldman of Fraser Health in British Columbia, Canada to test a new flooring material dubbed SmartCell technology.  The floors, currently being trialed in a Burnaby nursing home, cushion the impact of falls in the hopes of reducing the number of injuries.  The rubber floors are an inch thick and have a certain amount of spring, without becoming unstable for older adults to traverse.  The added benefit of a cushioned floor material is reduction in the stress placed on joints.

Testing will be completed by the fall of 2017 and it is hoped that the floors will result in up to a 50 per cent reduction in fall-related injuries.

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