“The bathroom is a common place where people may get hurt,” the Government of Alberta reminds us on their MyHealth.Alberta.ca website, “Wet, slippery surfaces and hot water can cause injuries. By taking a few simple steps, you can get rid of some hazards in your bathroom.” If you live with an older adult, it’s important to not overlook the dangers associated with bathroom use by seniors.
It addition to the wet and slippery elements of a bathroom, seniors often battle with decreased strength and balance. Unfortunately, it can be a recipe for disaster. The Advantage Home Health Solutions Blog has long highlighted statistics that reveal the majority of hospitalizations of Canadian seniors come as a result of slipping and falling. Giving older adults safer bathroom experiences, therefore, should be a top priority in your home.
Give them grab bars to steady themselves.
We’ve often heralded the use of grab bars – and with good reason. They are the most sensible addition to any bathroom that is used by a senior citizen. By giving the older adult in your home the ability to hold on to something while getting on or off the toilet and getting in and out of the shower, you significantly decrease his/her risk of slipping and falling. It’s that simple.
“Use grab bars in your bath or shower to help you get in and out,” advises the Alberta Government, “You can replace towel racks with grab bars and still hang your towels on them.”
Affix non-slip mats to the floor.
As their name gives away, non-slip mats make it so that your bathroom floor becomes a lot less slippery. Be sure to do away with any throw rugs as they are well-known for being tripping hazards. In their place, non-slip mats will help your elderly loved one with his/her footing in the bathroom.
“If you use a rug, make sure it has a non-skid bottom,” MyHealth.Alberta.ca insists, “Rubberized backings do wear out, so replace the rug if it slips. It usually needs replacing once a year.”
Install a walk-in tub.
Many bathroom falls take place before a shower has even begun! This is because traditional bathtubs require us all to take big steps in order to get into them. For seniors who have balance issues, the attempt to take this step can lead to injury-inducing falls. A walk-in tub eliminates the need to take this big step as it comes with a door that opens and closes allowing the tub’s user to walk right in and out.
“This mechanism eliminates the hassle of lifting your legs as you get into a bathtub, subsequently, reducing the risk of falling,” informs AgingInPlace.org, “But a safety door is not only the only feature you’ll be getting from a walk-in tub. Other models are equipped with adjustable bubble jets, inside-the-tube seating and handrails.”
At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we proudly offer walk-in tubs, grab bars and transfer benches among many other bathroom accessibility devices to help give older adults safer bathroom experiences. For more information, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact page!