Bathroom Safety for Seniors
Falls are the leading cause of injury among older Canadians with 20-30% of seniors experiencing one or more falls each year. For senior citizens, the bathroom can be one of the most dangerous places in their home, which is why installing bathroom safety products is very important. Showers and baths in particular pose a serious threat. To prevent your loved ones from injuring themselves, we have comprised a list of 5 bath safety tips for the elderly.
Tip 1: Invest in Grab Bars
Many senior citizens struggle with their balance. Our clients often claim that their loved ones hang on to towel rails, but these rails are only built to support a few pounds. Towel rails can easily break under the weight of a person, almost always resulting in serious injury.
Unlike towel rails, grab bars are designed to support higher weight limits. We recommend installing grab bars in order to reduce your risks of falls in the bathtub or shower.
Tip 2: Install a Shower Chair
Grab bars are important safety tools while getting into or out of the shower or tub, but once in the shower, another safety measure is to sit while bathing. Shower chairs and benches come in many different styles and sizes. There are basic bath chairs and benches, to specialty chairs that can be ordered to meet your disability or condition. For example, if there is a neurological condition, you may want to look into bath chairs that help maintain trunk stability. If stepping into a shower is difficult, there are transfer benches and sliding transfer benches that can be installed into any size bathroom, even the very smallest. Ask for a home assessment and how we can make it safer to age in place.
Tip 3: Consider a Bath Transfer Bench
Transfer benches are perfect for people who struggle to get in and out of bathtubs. A transfer bench can easily be placed onto most tubs with 2 legs that stay inside the tub, and the other 2 legs stay on the outside. In some cases, a standard transfer bench will not fit in your bathroom due to the placement of the toilet, in those cases, tub mounted transfer benches are the perfect option.
Tip 4: Install a Bath Lift
A bath lift is a great way to have the ability to bath alone, without compromising their safety. These tub lifts are battery operated and can easily be removed to allow other household members the ability to bath without the assistance of a bathtub lift. This is a great option for anyone who loves to soak in the heat of a bath and does not want to compromise safety.
Tip 5: Apply Non-Slip Coatings to Floors and Tubs
Mats that suction to the base of your tub are really tripping hazards in disguise. It is easy to catch a toe on a mat like that, resulting in a trip and fall. Many of our clients have the rough stickers on the tub, you know the ones shaped like fish or seahorses! However, these are very uncomfortable to sit on during a bath, and they are unsanitary as they are difficult to clean. An excellent option is a non-slip treatment that you neither see nor feel, that our experts can apply to most tub and flooring surfaces in under an hour.
Remember, there are many different ways to make daily hygiene easier and safer. If you would like more tips on how to secure a bathroom, please call us for your Home Assessment. Let our Home Comfort Experts help secure your safety with the best options for your consideration. Don’t take safety for granted!
by Carla Berezowski,
Home Comfort Expert