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Fall preventing wallpaper

Plus it makes the room look thinner.
 
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Falling down is a big source of health problems for old folks. There are various reasons (in addition to gravity) that old folks fall. One reason is probably dysfunction of the balance organs of the inner ear - like hearing or vision, position sense and balance can become impaired with age. Folks with this problem get off balance and do not realize it until too late.

Many of these folks do not have vision problems, or at least can see enough to get around. Fall Wall capitalizes on vision to make up for poor balance. I thought of this after acquiring a monitor which could be rotated. Seeing lines of text at 30 degrees from horizontal was very disconcerting. It occured to me that exaggeration of position cues in the environment might help people with poor balance.

The Fall Wall is basically wallpaper with thick, contrasting vertical stripes. The lighter areas might be rigged to glow slightly in the dark. The presence of these strong vertical lines will allow folks to subconsciously use their eyes to keep balanced.

This would need to be tested, but the experiment would be easy. It would be done in a large nursing home with ambulatory folks who have a high fall risk. One ward would get Fall Wall paper in public areas and resident rooms, which the control ward would just get new wallpaper with a floral print. Number of falls before the new wallpaper would be tracked, and falls after the wallpaper would be tracked. Falls should decrease after putting up Fall Wall.

bungston, Nov 21 2003

Study on falling http://content.nejm...=0&journalcode=nejm
These folks did a study of old folks falling, but concentrated on the hitting the ground part of it. [bungston, Oct 05 2004]

Study on stripes http://www.ncbi.nlm...53380&dopt=Abstract
Behavioural study on kittens exposed to an environment consisting of stripes in one of three orientations [Tiger Lily, Oct 05 2004]

[link]






       [+] Very nice idea, [bungston], however, the old folks in question would be more prone to stay upright, meaning the contents of their pockets ($$$) would stay safley tucked away ... thus making my job of robbing the rest home occupants much more tedious ...
Letsbuildafort, Nov 21 2003
  

       Would it work for drunks as well? ... Bars could install it on an angle to assist in identifying those who have already had too much to drink. Just pick them up off the floor and toss them out.
luecke, Nov 21 2003
  

       // The presence of these strong vertical lines will allow folks to subconsciously use their eyes to keep balanced. //   

       The presence of these strong vertical lines will make the walls so ugly that folks will not look at them, and will instead look where they are going. Croissant.
phundug, Nov 21 2003
  

       not for DIYers whose wallpaper normally refuses to stick to the walls then?
po, Nov 21 2003
  

       For the elderly with severe astigmatism, could an optician prescribe a wall paper with custom stripes?   

       Would this make orderlies fall down?
Tiger Lily, Nov 21 2003
  

       Why not horizontal stripes (you know, like an artificial horizon)?
phoenix, Nov 21 2003
  

       TL - wonder how that study affects tigers?
po, Nov 21 2003
  

       phoenix, I linked to a behavioural study on the effects of stripes. This one may be different than one I'm thinking of but I remember reading how kittens exposed to horizontal stripes, when placed back into a normal environmnet did not recognized vertically oriented objects, like table legs, and would run into them. Neither here nor there, just interesting.   

       I think your idea of creating an artificial horizon could be more effective.   

       po, I knew that link would produce a joke... I almost put a disclaimer in the description.
Tiger Lily, Nov 21 2003
  

       no joke TL. I can be serious you know. I love tigers!
po, Nov 21 2003
  

       Shoot! If I wasn't "Tiger Lily" I would have made the joke myself ;b
Tiger Lily, Nov 21 2003
  

       I seem to recall that there are certain areas in the brain hardwired to recognize certain things: mostly basic things like horizontal stripes, vertical stripes, etc. I am not sure whether horizontal or vertical stripes would be more effective.   

       A related application: Fall-creating wallpaper. In this application, there would be normal people standing in a slightly dark room, distracted by something else (maybe TV?). The striped wallpaper would be set to suddenly tilt 20 degrees. I suspect people would stagger and some would fall. I experienced this effect once watching a play: the curtain making up the backdrop suddenly sagged about a foot midway through. I felt like I was shooting up out of my chair.
bungston, Nov 21 2003
  

       Imagine then someone installs the wall paper wrong in the stair well. +
sartep, Nov 21 2003
  

       // basically wallpaper with thick, contrasting vertical stripes //   

       If they were thick in the 3rd dimention, ie, big sections of foam that stuck into the room, they'd certainly help to keep people upright. And the room would look much thinner, too.
benjamin, Nov 21 2003
  

       /big sections of foam/ - Because folks would get pinched between them? I like that.
bungston, Nov 22 2003
  

       If this had been Wall-Preventing Fallpaper, then I think you might have stumbled upon something there...
lostdog, Nov 22 2003
  
      
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