Taking the time to ensure bathroom safety of the elderly in your life since a fall can be dangerous at such an age. According to a CDC study, 30% of adults over the age of 65 years who got injured in the bathroom had fractures. 38% of adults who were 85 years old or more got hospitalized for their injuries. There are some easy measures you can take to ensure that the bathroom is a safe space for seniors.
By installing the measures below, you can actually increase the independence and mobility for the elderly in your life.
Why Do You Need Bathroom Safety of the Elderly?
One-third of people over 65 years of age fall in the bathroom every year. If you are lucky, you may get away with a minor bruise or scraped knee, but it is usually dangerous. It should not be taken lightly since it can impact the quality of life for people who fall down.
The CDC found that 200,000 people in the United States were treated in emergency departments for bathroom-based injuries in 2011. Bathroom safety of the elderly is vital since these spaces are slippery, with very few surfaces to hold onto in case you do start to fall. It can cause bruises, scrapes, cuts, fractures, spinal cord injuries, or head contusions.
Seniors have low muscle strength and balance, which increases their risk of grave injury and accidents. The injuries can take a long time to heal, which can be quite frustrating for people. Most accidents occur while:
What Do You Need To Ensure Bathroom Safety of the Elderly
Here are some of the best aids that you can even order online to ensure bathroom safety of the elderly.
Many elderly people may be forced to use bathtub or shower fixtures and towel bars to help them climb in and out of the shower or tub. The issue is that these fixtures or towel bars aren't really built to support their weight. They can even slip out of the hand when they are wet. Installing grab bars in the proper places will help seniors to stay balanced when they are entering or exiting the shower or bathtub.
Grab bars are great for seniors who have the upper body strength to stay balanced. They can hold the bars while standing up, moving, or walking in the bathroom. Slip-resistant bars have a grip surface that can make it easier to keep a hold of them.
Shower chairs provide stability to people who have balance difficulties. If you have difficultly standing for too long while taking a shower, the chair can be quite helpful. Chairs that come with rubber tips on the leg can prevent it from slipping because of the water. If you add a hand-held shower, it can be the best thing you can do for bathroom safety of the elderly.
Raised Toilet Bars
Raised toilet bars can help elderly people as you sit down or stand up from the toilet. If you have difficulty lowering yourself onto the toilet or getting up from it, you will benefit from a raised bar to support you.
Raised Toilet Seat
Low toilet seats can mean grave trouble for seniors with weak joints or hips. Every time you stand from or sit on the toilet, it can be really hard. Some seniors may need an aid, which can increase their dependency and make life really difficult. Raised toilet seats can add a few crucial inches that can reduce the distance when you are squatting down.
Transfer Stools or Benches
Transfer stools or benches make it easier to get into the bathtub or out of it without risking injury or accidents. Transfer benches have non-slip surfaces to ensure that your feet don't slide as a result of the watery surface. They also have armrests to increase the bathroom safety of the elderly. They are best for elderly people who have limited mobility but don't want to be dependent on aids for the simple act of showering.
Non-Slip Bathtub Mats
Non-slip bathtub mats can increase stability while you are showering or taking a bathtub. They go right inside the shower or bathtub area. They have a drainage hole to make sure the water doesn't collect. The high-grip surface ensures that you don't slide across the tiles or bathtub floor. Adding a non-slip mat by the toilet or the sink is also a good idea since any water spills can increase the danger of slipping.
There are also non-slip adhesive strips that you can use to increase the bathroom safety of elderly people. The strips can be visual cues on the floor, too, if you have a one-tone bathroom. You can place them at the edge of the bathtub, sinks, or grab bars to help the seniors if they use these edges for support.
You should make sure that the toiletries, medicine, or any other items are accessible. For example, using pull-out drawers can be better than cupboards to open. The best idea is to have open storage options, though, so that it can be super easy to grab toothpaste or a towel. Limiting the need for stretching or bending down to reach the shampoo or soap is great. Using mounts to ensure that everything is in reach without the need for unsteadiness or bending can increase bathroom safety for seniors.
Seniors can get frustrated if they have to depend on others for aid, and it can be too dangerous to let them use the bathroom alone when they reach a certain age. By implementing measures to increase the bathroom safety of the elderly, you and your loved ones can have more peace of mind.