Did you know?More than one in three people over the age of 65 falls each year and most of the falls actually happen at home! Approximately 80 % of the falls that occur at home happen in the bathroom. Injuries from bathroom falls range from minor bumps and bruises to more severe injuries, such as broken bones (especially hip fractures), head contusions, and even spinal cord injury.
Most falls occur while:
- Getting in and out of the tub or shower
- Sitting down and getting up from the toilet
- Walking and attempting to use towel bars, sink tops or other objects to support balance.
10 Tips to Make Your Bathroom SafeInstalling safety features in the bathroom is key to reducing the risk of falling. When renovating a bathroom for adult safety, consider the following options.
1. Install grab bars. Many of us use towel bars or shower or tub features to hold onto while climbing in and out of the shower or tub. Towel bars are good for holding towels but aren’t built to support weight. So what happens is instead of holding us up we pull them down and go down with them. Instead, install grab bars in easy-to-reach places to help support balance when entering and exiting the shower or tub.
2. Install a tension pole. An alternative to grab bars when getting in and out of a shower or tub is a tension pole from floor to ceiling that gives you something to hold on to for balance and support.
3. Use a shower chair. A shower chair can provide stability and a rest place when you have difficulty balancing, or standing for long periods of time. A good shower chair has rubber tips on the legs to prevent sliding. If you use your hand-held shower head, you can remain seated while bathing.
4. Use a tub-attached grab bar. When you need to step over the tub’s high sides to get in and out. During tub transfers, a grab bar securely mounted on the tub rim can supply balance support.
5. Use a bath (transfer) bench. A bath bench eliminates the problem of stepping in/out of the tub safely. Just sit on the bench outside the tub, and slide your legs over the side of the tub. Getting out is just as easy.
6. Use a raised toilet seat. When you have difficulty lowering yourself down to sit on a low toilet seat and rise to a standing position safely (due to lack of arm and leg strength and balance).
7. Install grab bars. Grab bars (either wall or toilet-attached) can compensate for low toilet seats and help sit down and get up safely.
8. Non-slip mats. Falls often occur when getting in and out of the tub or shower. Having a non-slip mat (or decals) on the floor of the shower or tub as well as a non-slip rug on the floor when stepping out of tub or shower (to prevent slipping on wet tiles) helps you feel more stable and can reduces slipping.
9. Regular Cleaning. Routinely ridding showers and tubs of soap scum and mildew can reduce the slippery coating that forms as a result of these substances. Also, be sure to avoid clutter in the bathroom to prevent tripping.
10. Lighting. Is the pathway from the bedroom to the bathroom dark? A poorly-lit pathway can easily cause a fall. Use nightlights or sensor lights to create a well-lit path to the bathroom. Having nightlights in the bathroom helps as well.
NBN Medical Boutique carries a huge variety of bathroom safety items. For more information, visit our website at www.nbnmedical.com