Outdoor Handrails for Safe Walking in the Backyard

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on print

Spending time outside can be therapeutic and fun for people of all ages, but as we age, many of the activities that bring us joy get a little riskier. In most cases, it’s still possible to enjoy our backyards, but it might require a few tweaks. Adding handrails for safe walking for older loved ones can help them spend more time outdoors and enjoy the yard without concern for slipping and falling.

What should consider if you’re aging and your balance isn’t what it once was or if you have a loved one who wants to spend time in the backyard but you’re concerned about falls?

Risk Factors

As we age, the risks we face around our homes increase. Things that were once safe and done without much pre-planning become a bit more of a chore. The good news is if we do think ahead, there are some things we can do to make the home and the outdoor space surrounding it much safer.

For starters, think about some of the things that put senior loved ones at risk of falling. Uneven sidewalks, curbs, outdoor stairways without standard railing, damaged raisers, damaged newel posts, worn stair treads, and uneven walking surfaces can cause loved ones to trip and fall. It’s also common for older people to fall from porches.

A few things you can do to reduce the risk of these things being a hazard, aside from leveling the surface whenever possible, include to add better lighting and tread to reduce the slipperiness of surfaces. A lot of accidents can be avoided if the person at risk is able to see the path clearly and can step without concern for slipping.

It’s also a good idea to check the area periodically for changes. A perfectly safe backyard can have hazards when the weather warms up after a long, cold winter or a rainy spring. Snow, ice, and rain tend to cause changes in cement surfaces and grassy areas, so before your loved ones begin spending time outdoors for the season, check out the area and look for any changes that could pose a risk.

It’s also a good idea to check porches and stairs to make sure there are no loose boards that need fixing. What might seem like a minor home repair to you might pose a serious safety risk to older loved ones who aren’t as agile as they once were.

The same is true concerning the set-up of furnishings outdoors. Make sure there is adequate walking space around chairs and tables and that if anything falls over or breaks it’s cleaned up quickly. It’s also a good idea to check for overgrown tree branches and shrubs that could pose a hazard. Sometimes, the worst accidents occur when someone is trying to avoid a problem—and they walk, or fall, right into a bigger problem.

DIY Iron X Handrail Picket #2 Fits 2 or 3 Steps

Install Handrails for Safety

One of the best ways you can reduce the risk of falls and injuries is by installing handrails outdoors. Just like they do indoors, they give anyone walking up or down stairs, or along a less-than-stable surface something to grab onto and maintain their balance. Older handrails outdoors also need to be replaced if they are wobbly and no longer providing the stability they were intended to give.

Iron handrails are a great option for outdoors because they are sturdy, weather-resistant, and look great with just about any style home. They are available in basic and ornate designs, so you can choose a style that complements your home decor. They can also be painted, so if you prefer something other than basic black or metal, you can create a fun look for your outdoor space.

Most iron handrails cost between $50 and $150, depending on the style and length, but you can find ones that are cheaper or more expensive. It all depends on your needs.

Installation can make adding a handrail to your outdoor space a lot more expensive, so if possible, try to install the railing on your own. It’s a fairly easy home improvement project and most people have the tools needed or can buy an installation kit when buying the handrail. Some railings available on Amazon even come with an installation kit.

1.9″ Round x 4 ft. Hammered Black Aluminum ADA Handrail Kit – Includes 2 wall brackets

We’ve included a few of our favorite handrails in this list here:

  • Suitable for two or three steps
  • Spans two stair riser
  • Two feet post to post
  • Offers a custom style at an off-the-shelf price
  • Sturdy and reliable
  • IBC and IRC compliant for Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Suitable for interior and exterior use
  • Can be added to hallways, ramps, or indoor or outdoor stairs
  • Features a powder coat finish for durability
  • Kit comes with everything you need to install
  • Can be cut to appropriate size
  • Adjustable up to 38 Degrees
  • Designed for three steps
  • Installation possible on wood or concrete
  • Constructed of heavy gauge aluminum
  • Adjustable up to 38 degrees
  • Designed for four steps
  • Installation possible on wood or concrete
  • Constructed of heavy gauge aluminum

If none of these options suit your taste or your home’s style, it’s possible to get a custom designed handrail for your space, but this costs a great deal more. If this is something you think you might be interested in, your best bet is to comparison shop and see if you can find a custom option that’s not that much more expensive than the choices we’ve listed here.

InstantRail 3-Step Adjustable Handrail (For Concrete Steps)

Other Safety Considerations in Your Outdoor Space

In addition to railings and general walking around outside, you’ll also want to consider risks that affect seniors participating in certain backyard activities. For instance, are you concerned about a senior loved one who loves to garden? Does your loved one take a pet outdoors on a daily basis? Do they enjoy time in a swimming pool or hot tub?

All of these activities are great for enrichment and quality of life, but they pose additional safety hazards you’ll want to consider.

InstantRail 4-Step Adjustable Handrail (For Concrete Steps)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *