Bathrooms are notorious for being the most dangerous rooms in the home. Its slippery surfaces make the bathroom a hotspot for slips and falls especially for seniors. Needless to say, we all need to use the bathroom each and every day. And, as a result, it’s important that we all take steps to make it a much safer place to be especially for seniors!
Do you have elderly loved ones living in your home? Here are three steps to making your bathroom a safer place for them:
1. Install walk-in tubs.
Having a senior step up and into a bathtub presents him/her with a dangerous situation. It’s hard enough having to keep one’s balance on a slippery surface. But with decreasing strength, taking steps, in general, becomes a harder task. Instead of making your elderly loved ones climb into your bathtubs, consider installing a walk-in tub so that they can avoid both the dangers and the hassles that come with standard tubs.
“But avoid this common mistake,” stresses Paula Spencer Scott on Caring.com, “Overdoing the fanciness of the design so that there are steps leading up to a shower or bath area. Steps are a slipping hazard. A level platform area around the shower or tub is better. It’s also wise to avoid a curb at the point of the walk-in entrance. That way you prevent accidental trips and, if necessary, the design can accommodate a wheelchair.”
2. Place non-slip mats throughout.
Most safety experts will recommend that you put non-slip mats in your bathtub to help for its users to keep their balance while showering. Why not place those same mats outside of the shower and in front of the sink and toilet as well? That way, you maximize safety. Quite obviously, the less slippery the surfaces of your bathroom are, the less likely its users will fall while inside of it.
3. Install grab bars.
Seniors often require the use of such mobility devices as walkers and wheelchairs to get around. However, these solutions don’t always make traversing in and out of narrow bathroom areas very easy. This is why grab bars are so helpful. They enable those with mobility issues to maintain better balance when using the toilet, the bathtub or the shower. Don’t assume that your towel racks can perform the same functions as grab bars!
“A slipping adult who reaches for a bar on the wall is going to exert a lot of body weight on that bar,” Scott reminds us, “If it’s poorly anchored to the wall — as are many bars intended only to hold the weight of towels — the person will continue to fall and possibly injure an arm, too. The grab bars should be solidly connected to the structure of the walls (and they can double as towel bars). Skip diagonally placed grab bars because if the grabber’s hand slips, a fall is more likely.”
At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we’re proud to provide top quality walk-in tubs, grab bars and numerous other bathroom accessibility devices. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us by giving us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact Us page!
Have an amazing Canada Day long weekend everyone!