Bathroom Safety for Senior Citizens
While for many of us the bathroom – especially the shower or tub- is place or relaxation and respite, for more and more senior the bathroom is one of the most dangerous places in their home. In fact, studies by the CDC show that nearly 200,000 Americans are treated every year for injuries due to a fall in the bathroom. This fact translates into a more staggering statistic- 80% of falls in the home are in the bathroom. This is because bathrooms a variety of surfaces and items that while seemingly benign can actually cause a great deal of pain.
The average American bathroom, while it may be more elaborate the bathrooms in many other countries, is also a place where there are slick surfaces, a lack of support bars, and of course, a number of places where a slippery surface can result in a fall. These falls often result in broken hips, head contusions and even spinal injuries! So, what can be done to make it safer for our loved one to retain their independence, but be safe when bathing? Here are a few basic adjustments that can help.
- Install grab bars – Many senior citizens use a towel bar to help them in or out of the tub; however, these bars were not designed to support one’s weight. Rather than using towel bars, install grab bars with a slip resistant grip, a color that contrast with the wall so visibility is better, and be sure that bar can be securely mounted to the wall or location(s) you plan on installing the bar. It is best to use bolted on bars, rather than those, which are suction-cupped to the wall, as the support is stronger.
- Consider installing a tension rod that can be used to help with getting in and out of the tub.
- Make bathing easier by adding a bath transfer bench. This works best for tubs equipped with a hand-held shower head, as it allows the user to remain seated while in the tub. A similar option is shower chair, which has rubber tips on the legs to keep it from sliding.
- Add a non-slip mat or adhesive slips to provide traction as one gets in our out of the tub. Ideally get one in a contrasting color so that it stands out from the tub floor. Often time senior struggle with depth perception, so having the different color makes it easier for them.
- Use a raised toilet seat so that your loved one doesn’t need to lowers themselves so much. You may also want to add grab bars to make it easier for them to get up and down.
- Consider a basket or other bathroom friendly item to store toiletries in, and be sure the basket is within easy reach, so that your loved one doesn’t have to stretch and risk falling to reach the items they need.
Bathroom safety for your loved one is a great way to make it possible for your loved one to retain their independence. There are many products designed especially with bathroom safety in mind. For some great ideas, be sure to check out the items from AbleMart.
Many websites provide additional information on the topic of bathroom safety and seniors. One such site worth visiting is https://www.ablemart.com/our-products/shop-by-location/bathroom
Janet Slagell independently authors articles for WebDrafter.com, Inc. for search engine marketing. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those solely of the author, and not of any other person, company or organization. No guarantee or warranty, express or implied, is made regarding the accuracy, fitness, or use of the content herein.