Although the bathroom is one of the smallest rooms in the house, it can be very dangerous.
According to a 2011 study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 234,094 nonfatal, unintentional bathroom injuries were treated in hospital emergency departments by persons older than 15 years. Injuries occurring in bathrooms were higher in individuals over 85 years of age, according to the study.
In the study, the CDC found bathing, showering, and getting out of the tub or shower to be the most hazardous activities for older adults. Falling was responsible for 80% of these injuries.
It is important for individuals, especially older adults, to realize that bathroom activities are associated with a high risk of injury. But the good news is that environmental modifications can be made to reduce those risks. You can improve your ability to stay safe in the bathroom by following these tips:
Invest in grab bars
Make sure you or your loved ones have assistance getting in and out of the tub. When older adults enter and exit the bathtub or shower, grab bars can help them steady themselves as they use the toilet or step into the tub.
It is important to place the grab bar in the right place. In order to maintain balance, the bars should be located in places that are easy to reach. As well as being placed at a height that allows a person to hold onto them without having to reach too far up or down to prevent overreaching or stumbling..
Utilize a transfer bench
The top lip of the tub may be too high for older adults to step over when getting in and out of the tub. The transfer bench eliminates the need to step into and out of the tub. In order to get into the tub, the person sits on the bench outside, then slides over the seat into the tub safely. While seated, the person can enter and exit the tub eliminating the risk of slipping and/or falling.
Invest in a shower chair
The use of a shower chair can make bathing easier for people who have difficulty balancing or standing for long periods of time.
Use non-slip mats
Slippery surfaces can cause falls. Put non-slip mats or decals on your shower or tub floor and on your steps outside the shower or tub to prevent needless slips.
Test the water temperature
Before an elderly person bathes in the bath or shower, make sure the water is at their preferred temperature. Unexpected temperatures, such as extreme heat, can cause an involuntary step backward. To prevent sudden movements that could cause a fall, test the water temperature before entering the shower or tub.
Ensure that items are accessible
Towels, clothing, and other toiletry items should be easily accessible without stretching or bending.
Get rid of throw rugs
Not all throw rugs have non-slip undersides. Although they may seem stable, you can easily slip on a throw rug when you step on it in front of the bathtub, toilet, or sink. Make sure bath mats and throw rugs are removed that could cause slips, trips, and falls and rigorously test the ones that claim to be non-slip as well.
If you follow these seven safety tips, you and your loved ones will be safer in the bathroom. OR Hopefully some of these tips have helped. Stay safe!
Remember that at ActivePro Nursing & Homecare Inc. we have experienced caregivers and home nurses who are willing and able to provide you with the best and most specialized care, adapted to your needs, in the Toronto and Niagara regions. You and your loved ones can count on us!
Active Pro: The well-being of our older adults is our top priority!