You can never be too careful in the bathroom. It’s a part of the home we all use each and every day, but it cannot be stressed enough that its slippery surfaces are often causes of injuries. This is especially true for older adults who are a lot more susceptible to slipping and falling than the rest of us.
As the Government of Canada makes clear, “falls are the cause of 85% of seniors’ injury-related hospitalizations (and) the cause of 95% of all hip-fractures.” Taking steps to make your bathroom a safer place is imperative when a senior lives in your home. So what can you do to step up senior safety in your bathroom?
Step #1: Place non-slip mats on the floor.
As mentioned and is obvious, bathroom floors can be slippery. Between their tile-laden surfaces and the high chances of them getting wet, the floors in bathrooms are practically made to cause slips. This makes non-slip mats essential elements of a bathroom used by a senior.
“Falls can be caused by slippery surfaces,” Stephanie Struyck Elgin affirms on ShieldHealthCare.com, “To prevent needless slips on wet surfaces, place non-slip mats or decals on the floor of the shower or tub as well as a non-slip mat on the floor when stepping outside of the tub or shower.”
Step #2: Install grab bars on the walls.
Many seniors experience diminished senses of strength and balance. This is why such mobility solutions as walkers and wheelchairs are often utilized. However, there isn’t much room for such devices in most bathrooms. Grab bars make it so that seniors can hold on to something in order to stay steady on their feet. They’re excellent for preventing falls both inside and outside of the shower or bathtub.
“By installing grab bars in your tub or shower, older adults have something to grasp when entering and exiting the bathtub or shower,” explains Anneliese Peterson on WalkerMethodist.org, “This can reduce the chances of a slip and/or fall during bathing. Grab bars can also be installed near the toilet to aid with leverage and balance.”
Step #3: Place a bath chair in the tub or shower stall.
One practically guaranteed way to help a senior avoid slipping and falling in the bathroom is to minimize the amount of time he/she spends standing. Taking a shower, as everyone knows, is an activity that is generally done in a standing position. It doesn’t have to be that way. A bath chair allows for showers to be taken while sitting, thus practically eliminating the risk of falling in the tub.
“Bath seating in a shower or tub is a great bathroom safety tactic – and they can be easy to install,” reveals Peterson, “For extra safety, consider adding bath seating as well as a grab-bar, making it easy to enjoy a shower without the fear of falling. Bath seating is available in various styles to meet the needs of all seniors.”
At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we proudly offer a wide array of bathroom accessibility devices including grab bars and bath chairs. 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!