Although you might consider your bathroom to be a safe refuge to relax and unwind with a soothing bath or invigorating shower at the end of a challenging day, for older adults, the bathroom is in fact the most dangerous room in the house. With slippery floors that are even slipperier when damp, closed-in spaces, and hard, unforgiving surfaces, falls are alarmingly frequent, and quite often lead to severe injury.
At Live Free Home Health Care, we’re always very happy to carry out a safety assessment of the home and recommend safety measures in the bathroom to reduce fall hazards for seniors. And since January is National Bath Safety Month, it’s the perfect time to share some things you can do today to help keep your family members safe throughout each area of the bathroom:
On the Floor
When you step into the bathroom, examine bathmats and any other rugs to ensure they’re firmly secured to the floor, with no loose edges to cause tripping hazards. Ensure the floor is generally clean and dry, and do not wax bathroom floors.
In the Sink
Install ADA-compliant faucets, which offer both easy-to-turn handles and an adjustable hot water safety stop to avoid burns.
Around the Toilet
Remove and replace standard toilets with ADA-approved versions that are elevated and safer for older adults; or, install an elevated seat onto existing toilets. Keep a medical alert button in close proximity to the toilet, allowing a senior loved one to easily call for help when needed, as well as a securely installed grab bar.
In the Bathtub and Shower
On the whole, showers or walk-in bathtubs are safer for seniors than standard tubs. Make sure the shower features securely installed grab bars (strong enough to support the weight of an adult) as well as a shower chair and hand-held shower wand. A water-proof medical alert button should be worn in the shower all the time.
Place commonly-used items, such as soap, shampoo, towels, washcloths, comb/brush, toothbrush, etc., in easy-to-reach locations, off of the floor to make certain nothing poses a fall risk. Utilizing contrasting colors on the ground, walls, and vanity/storage spaces enhances safety as well.
And, perhaps the best tip we can offer would be to engage the services of Live Free Home Health Care! Our professional and qualified caregivers are available to ensure that personal care needs, such as bathing, showering, using the toilet, and hair/oral care are met with the utmost attention to dignity and independence, while making sure senior loved ones remain safe.
To learn more about our top-rated home and respite care in Bristol and the surrounding communities, reach out to us any time at 603-217-0149 for a no-cost in-home consultation and to learn more ways we’re making life better for older adults, on a daily basis, right in the familiarity of home!