January is National Bath Safety Month, making now a great time to review some ways to keep our bathrooms safe for ourselves and our loved ones. Bathroom safety is especially important for seniors; according to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), 75% falls occur in the bathroom. Bathrooms consist of hard floor surfaces, potentially sharp edges of counters and solid fixtures like the bathtub, sink and toilet can lead to painful injuries when a fall occurs.
If you are worried about the risks in the bathroom, whether it be slipping, tripping or falling, connect with your medical professional to determine the best accessibility method of your personal needs first.
Below are some tips that can help make our bathrooms safer for our seniors:
Reduce Clutter in the bathroom It’s recommended that you keep the bathroom clean and organized. It is especially important to keep pathways in the bathroom clear and that your bathroom is well lit.
Non-slip Bath Mats Having a non-slip bath mat inside the tub or shower is crucial, to give your feet some traction when you move around. When you step out of the tub, have a secured bath mat to dry your feet and keep the floor from getting wet.
Use a non-slip shower chair Using a shower chair or bath chair helps decrease the chance of falling by providing a secure area in a slippery shower or bath.
Use a weighted shower curtain When showering water might splash outside of the bathtub, so it’s best to use a weighted shower curtain so the bathroom floor does not get wet.
Grab Bar Installations If you or your loved one needs extra support and stability in the bathroom grab bars are a great safety tool that can be installed. Grab bars are especially useful for using a bathtub, shower and/or toilet. It helps one get in and out of the tub, steady you when reaching for the hand-held showerhead, getting on and off the toilet and if you have an accidental slip, you can grab onto it to prevent a full-on fall.
Wall-mounted grab bars are the best choice. They are the most stable because they attach to the wall on both ends and you get to install them in any position you want.
Get support from your Home Caregiver If you want to ensure bath safety, you can also have your Premier Home Health Care Aide or Caregiver assist and supervise one’s shower. Premier Home Health Care staff can help you or your senior loved one in and out of the tub and waiting outside the bathroom. Or more hands-on care such as assistance with actual bathing and grooming in a safe and comfortable manner. Staff can also assist in ensuring the bathroom is clean and organized before, during and after bathroom use.