January is National Bath Safety Month! This awareness is necessary for everyone, especially the elderly. According to the National Council On Aging, accidental falls are the leading cause of fatalities and the leading cause of injuries in elderly adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one out of four elderly seniors 65 and over have each year. Most of these falls occur in the bathroom, which is the most dangerous room in your home. The risk of falls increases if the person has balancing issues due to a stroke, age-related limited mobility, or cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.
Improving bathroom safety for elderly seniors
Falls in the bathroom for elderly people can be easily eliminated. A few simple modifications will reduce the risk of falls and keep older adults out of emergency rooms. Listed below are 10 affordable modifications to make the bathroom less dangerous for elderly seniors.
1 Clear all pathways to the bathroom for those late-night visits.
2 Add night lights to the path to the bathroom and in the bathroom. These LOHAS Dimmable Night Lights features include adjustable brightness, automatic on/off switch, and made to last for over 30000 hours.
3 Remove regular throw rugs to prevent accidental tripping or add these Rug Grippers to existing rugs to prevent the rug from sliding. This set of 4 non-slip/washable Rug Grippers keep the rug in place and prevents the rug edges from curling.
4 Add tub grab bars to the tub for entering and exiting the bathtub safely. This sleek-looking Deluxe Plastic Tub Safety Rail has microban-antimicrobial protection and supports weights of up to 250 pounds. Covered with rugged enamel-coated steel offers tool-free installation with non-slip, rubber-lined pads that clamp to the tub surface without scratching or damaging the tub’s surface.
5 Placing slip-resistant tub or shower mats in the tub help prevent accidental slips while bathing. This non-slip mat features suction cups designed to keep the mat in place on the tub or shower’s smooth surface. The soft vinyl material of this non-slip mat resists dirt, mildew, fading, and peeling while providing a cushioned comfort place for sitting or standing. It also has drainage holes to prevent water buildup. Non-slip suction cup mats should be a fixture in every bathtub or shower! Adding it will certainly reduce the possibility of accidental slips and falls!
6 Attach grab bars with suction cups or attach grab bars directly to the shower tile. These safety grab bars help with standing and balancing. The Swivel Suction Cup Grab Bar shown here offers durability and versatility. It features a mechanism that turns 180 degrees, allowing the users to place it in a left or right L-shaped angled, in a straight angle or horizontal angle. No tools are required for installation.
7 Use a shower chair, transfer bench, or bath stool with a handheld showerhead to prevent accidental slips and falls when bathing. They are especially safer for people recovering from a stroke, hip, knee, back surgery, and wheelchair users. A transfer bench allows users to get in and out of a bathtub without having to stand at all, eliminating the possibility of an accidental fall. This Sliding Transfer Bench features a cut-out seat, allowing users to clean the perineal areas thoroughly, and is ideal for bariatric users weight up to 400 pounds. It also has an area to hold a handheld showerhead for your convenience and other unique safety features.
8 Investing in a walk-in tub with fall-preventing slip mats provides another method of absolute safety when bathing. This Empava 53″ Walk-In Tub has a door with a low threshold, ergonomic knobs, an attached grab bar, and an integrated seat to allow the bather to submerge in water up to the shoulders. Other features include an extra-wide door for getting in and out of the tub with ease and an overflow valve.
9 Attach this easy to install Portable Raised Toilet Seat from HEALTHSMART® to make sitting and standing from the toilet easier and safer. This Elevated Toilet Seat adds five inches to an existing toilet seat to make it much easier to sit down and stand up from the toilet.
10 Finally, adding safety bars like the DMI Toilet Safety Support Rail to the toilet is another great way to make your bathroom safer. This sturdy toilet rail provides added support when sitting or rising from the toilet seat. It features anodized, rust-resistant aluminum tubing on the adjustable handles that easily attach to a toilet seat using hinge bolts and supports weights of up to 250 pounds. This toilet safety rail is sure to give peace of mind to anyone experiencing limited mobility or balancing issues and wheelchair users.
Since elderly people are more prone to broken bones and other serious injuries from falling, in addition to the high cost of a hospital stay, following all or just a few of these guidelines reduces the risk of accidental falls significantly. Click on the link of one or all of these products to find the best bathroom modification to fit your specific need. To purchase any or all of these helpful products, TheElderExpo.com and Amazon.com are great places to start.