Senior Health

5 Ways to Prevent Slips and Falls in the Bathroom for the Seniors

The bathroom is probably one of your favorite places inside your house. It is where you can take long soaks in the tub, groom yourself and perform your private hygiene rituals.

However, the bathroom can also be a dangerous place for some people, especially older adults who have medical conditions, limited range and mobility and poor eyesight. It is one of the top places where slips and falls can happen which may not only hurt, but can also be fatal.

And as a concerned family member, you want to make sure that the seniors can use the bathroom safely and comfortably.

Here are the best ways to make the bathroom easier to use and navigate as well as prevent potential hazards and slips among your elderly loved ones.

Put Strong Grab Bars in Strategic Places

Install and distribute grab bars in areas where the senior is likely to need something to hold on to. Such as near the bathtub, shower, and toilet. Without grab bars, the elderly are likely to hold on to less stable items like the shower curtain, towel rack or shelves which may surrender at the senior’s weight. Such occurrence can make a fall even more dangerous.

Grab bars can provide strong support for seniors for when they need to get up from the toilet or walk from one area of the bathroom to the other. Don’t use wall-suction grab bars though, as these can slide down the wall over time. Opt for grab bars that you can install with a drill, screw, and bolt as they are sturdier and offer more stability.

Rubberized Mats on the Floor

The wet bathroom floor is a hazard for most seniors, especially those with limited mobility. You can help them navigate the bathroom and minimize the risk of slips by putting non-slip bathroom mats in critical areas.

First of all, you need to place rubberized mats in the tub. It is also essential to have non-slip mats in places very near a water source, like right outside shower and near the sink. Fortunately, rubberized mats are relatively cheap, but they go a long way in helping prevent the older adults from slips.

Adequate Lighting

Many older adults get up a few times during the night to use the bathroom. Poor and inadequate lighting can make it hard for them to move around the area, particularly if the seniors have poor eyesight. A misstep could result in a slip or fall.

Survey the bathroom and ensure that it has proper lighting. You also don’t want the bathroom to be overly-lit, as the glare can hurt the eyes. You just need good overall lighting in the bathroom and supplemental lighting fixtures other areas like the sink and vanity.

Raise the Height of the Toilet Seat

The standard toilet bowl is convenient enough for a healthy adult, but seniors do find it difficult to lower themselves to the toilet seat. They can end up over-exerting themselves, which can hurt or sprain some parts of the body. What you can do is raise the toilet seat by a few inches with a specialized seat. Now with three or more inches added to the standard toilet seat, older adults will find it easy to sit down and do their business. And while you’re at it, install grab bars on both sides of the toilet seat for additional support.

Additionally, you can consider installing a bidet seat to make cleaning up easier and faster. The senior gets to wash the nether regions hands-free with a stream of clean water, therefore, eliminating the need to wipe with toilet paper, which can be cumbersome for some adults.

Shower Chair and Hand-held Shower Head

Most seniors can’t bear standing in the shower even for a few minutes. Plus, the slippery shower or tub bottom can be a slip hazard.

Help them shower with convenience by putting a shower chair in the tub or the shower. Also, place a non-slip rubber mat under the chair to add more traction and prevent it from slipping. Finally, using a hand-held shower head means they can bath with less or zero assistance, allowing them to shower in peace while they’re comfortably seated.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Older adults need some special consideration especially when it comes to bathroom use. By implementing a few changes and leveling up the security features, they will be able to use the bathroom more safely and securely, which in turn, gives you more peace of mind.

Helpful Resources

Post Comment

error: Content is protected !!