Dear Carpet Girl,

My husband’s aging father is moving in with our family next month. We’re concerned about the hardwood floors in our home being slippery and too cold for him, and our home health aide suggested that we purchase new carpet for his bedroom, hallway, and steps. We’ve done some research on our own about the differences between hardwood and carpet, but still are unsure of whether or not hardwood or carpet is the safer flooring. We need your help to find the best flooring for our family.

Safety First

Dear Safety First,

Having an elderly family member in your home can be a joy and a challenge, and we applaud you for taking this on. We agree with your home health aide, installing carpet in your home will make his new space warm, cozy, and will create a safer environment than hardwood floors. Carpet comes in a variety of different styles, we suggest that installing a nice, plus, low profile carpet is the way to go!

  • Unlike hard surface flooring, carpet provides a much safer environment for everyone, especially elderly family members.
  • Carpet can perform like Velcro, keeping your feet sturdy while walking. Under the carpet we suggest a synthetic padding. The firmness of the pad will offer the perfect amount of support!
  • Hard surface flooring can also be rough  on your joints, knees, and ankles if standing for extended periods of time. Choosing carpet reduces the amount of stress put on your joints and will feel better on your family’s feet!
  • Carpet is also a safer flooring option because it is made of soft, resilient fibers which provide much needed comfort and insulation for your home. This will not only make your home feel better, but it also promotes an atmosphere of relaxation which will benefit your father in law and  everyone else in your family as well!

Our recommendation is a low profile carpet. A tight, dense carpet will allow your father in law to walk comfortably on top of the carpet rather than sink into a loose carpet, which may pose a tripping hazard.

We would also recommend a nylon or wool, which is a stronger yarn and less likely to “pill”. Plus it lasts longer!

Best of Luck,
The Carpet Girl