Bathrooms can be very dangerous places for the elderly. It’s certainly no laughing matter. Between the tight spaces that most bathrooms are usually fit into (often, making them difficult to access) and the slippery surfaces made worse by the presence of water, these regularly-used rooms of the household present numerous hazards. In actuality, bathrooms can be dangerous places for everyone not just seniors.
As Dr. Rein Tideiksaar explains on ConsumerAffairs.com, “up to 80% of falls in the home are in the bathroom. Anyone can stumble and fall in the bathroom but having poor muscle strength and balance is strongly associated with increased risk. If you have a history of falls, the risk is even greater.”
What are the most common causes of slips and falls in the bathroom?
As you may have imagined, there are many culprits. Among them are the slippery surfaces that can make getting in and out of the tub or shower difficult. As well, many seniors experience difficulty with both sitting down on and getting up from the toilet. Sometimes, the simple act of walking, but attempting to use towel bars or sink tops for balance, can present dangers. For much better security and support, Dr. Tideiksaar recommends the installation of grab bars.
Why are grab bars so highly recommended to prevent falls in the bathroom?
Grab bars are designed to support people’s weight. By holding on to a grab bar while walking into a bathroom, sitting on or getting up from a toilet and entering or exiting a shower or tub, one can be assured of better balance. With grab bars, the risk of slipping and falling is significantly reduced. Towel bars, by their very nature, are not meant for us to use as support.
“Many elders use towel bars or shower/tub features to hold onto while climbing in and out of the shower/tub,” mentions Dr. Tideiksaar, “Towel bars are good for holding towels but aren’t built to support weight. Instead, install grab bars in easy-to-reach places to help support balance when entering and exiting the shower or tub.”
Who is best suited to use grab bars?
According to Dr. Tideiksaar, grab bars are ideal for seniors who have good upper body strength. It’s important that users are able to hold on to the grab bars while they are either moving or standing. Some, however, would argue that there really is no downside to installing grab bars in your bathroom. On Caring-For-Aging-Parents.com, grab bars are highly advocated as bathroom safety devices.
“There is no reason not to use bathroom grab bars,” insists the website, “They are great for improving safety and preventing falls. They even come in a brushed metal that is quite nice looking and can compliment other bathroom decor. Even the elderly who are not originally keen to get bathtub safety bars or shower handles end up finding them very handy.”
At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we understand that the safety and peace of mind of your loved ones is of extreme importance. We strongly believe that no one deserves to lose their independence. And, in many cases, grab bars installed in the bathroom help our elderly loved ones to use bathrooms on their own safely.
We’re proud to offer an extensive list of accessibility devices to make your bathroom a safer place. In addition to grab bars for both the bathroom and the shower, we also have bathroom super poles, bath chairs, bath lifts and transfer benches
If you have any questions about these home accessibility options, please don’t hesitate to contact us to ask them. Give us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact Us page!