A couple of weeks ago, our blog highlighted a number of ways to reduce the risk of falling in the bathroom. It’s necessary to be constantly mindful of bathroom safety, but it needs to be reiterated that the shower/bathtub is an area where slips and falls most commonly occur. It should go without saying that, if you live with an elderly loved one, it’s vital to ensure his/her safety in the shower. How can you do that?
Keep all necessary items within reach.
Does your elderly loved one have issues with his/her back? Does bending over cause him/her pain? If so, be sure to keep all soaps, shampoos, conditioners and other necessities on shelves in the shower that are placed at eye level. Ensure that these items aren’t placed too high so as to not force your older parent to tip-toe or uncomfortably reach for anything.
“Whether it’s shampoo and conditioner easily reachable in the shower or toothpaste and soap easy accessible at the sink, keep items in the places where you use them,” advises Erica Garland on ModernBathroom.com, “This helps eliminate unnecessary reaching, searching and standing, and the potential for accidents that comes with them.”
Prevent or treat mould.
The bathroom is a location in the home where mould is often found. Unfortunately, the majority of us pay mould little mind. We see it as an example of dirt and often do nothing more than scrub it away when we see it. While this is an important practice, for the purpose of cleanliness and hygiene, it’s also a very important health-conscious move. When mould spores enter the air, they can wreak havoc on our respiratory systems. Mould can be particularly hazardous to seniors.
“Your bathroom is a prime target for mould growth, due to the moisture in the air,” writes Laura Firszt on Networx.com, “Run the exhaust fan from before you step into the shower till 30 minutes afterward. Repair plumbing leaks promptly. If you spot mould or mildew in your bathroom (or even suspect its presence), call a professional for remediation. Mould can cause respiratory and other health problems, particularly in the very young, very old, or anyone with a compromised immune system.”
Install grab bars in the shower.
A tip that we’ve been prone to dole out time and time again, installing grab bars is a certified way to keep your elderly loved one upright when in the shower. These strong and sturdy additions to your bathtub or shower stall will provide the leverage needed to help your older adult maintain his/her balance. Grab bars work wonders in preventing slips and falls in the shower.
“Grab bars give you something to grab when you’re getting in and out of the shower, and they also offer a way to catch yourself if you’re about to fall,” explains Garland, “Add grab bars and safety rails to the shower/tub as well as near the toilet. Make sure they’re anchored well enough to support an adult’s weight.”
At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we proudly offer a wide variety of bathroom accessibility devices that include grab bars. We also carry bathroom super poles, bath chairs, bath lifts, walk-in tubs and slide-in tubs among other solutions that help to make your bathroom a much safer place.
For more information about our bathroom accessibility devices, 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!