Elevators are not age-friendly

Another example of everyday facilities that fail the age-friendly test. In our book we explain how the ubiquitous teacup is in need of a redesign, but consider this research on elevators.elevator2

Over 2,600 senior citizens suffer serious elevator-related injuries each year in the United States, and three-quarters of them are women, according to the results of the first large-scale study of these events.

Slips, trips and falls accounted for more than half of the injuries, and about one-third were caused by elevator doors closing on a person. The third most common cause of injuries were those related to the wedging of walkers in elevator door openings, the researchers reported in the January issue of the Journal of Trauma Injury, Infection and Critical Care.

The study authors analyzed elevator-related injuries that were serious enough to send a person aged 65 years or older to an emergency department. Almost half of the injuries were “soft-tissue” injuries such as sprains and bruises, they noted.

A few suggests from the researchers involved in the study:

Elevator open buttons should be made twice the size of the other elevator buttons so they are not hard to find by passengers who want to stop the door from closing on an approaching individual,

An inexpensive to change because electronics don’t have to be altered, just the button. Certainly all newly installed or updated elevators should have such buttons.