Although long bubble baths may make your bathroom seem like a haven of tranquility, did you know that your bathroom is the most dangerous room in your house? In fact, over 200,000 Americans take a trip to their local emergency room to be treated for a bathroom-related injury every year. This is why it’s important to follow the bathroom safety tips outlined below to keep you and your aging loved ones safe.
The Danger of Slippery Surfaces
Bathrooms can be a minefield for slippery surfaces that can be especially dangerous for an aging loved one with poor balance. Stepping out of or into a slippery tub or shower can be a recipe for disaster that may result in falls and broken bones if proper care isn’t taken.
At the same time, your loved one may not appreciate having someone directly supervise their bathing routine. So if you want to have some piece of mind about your loved one’s safety in the bathroom, consider installing a non-slip mat in the shower or a non-slip rug on the floor to provide stability and prevent your aging loved one from slipping.
In addition, if your loved one’s balance is compromised then consider using a shower chair with a handheld shower spray. Shower chairs allow seniors to have a place to rest if they have trouble standing for long periods of time, and a handheld shower spray will allow seniors to sit while they’re bathing.
Aging Joints and Standard Toilets Don’t Mix
Most standard toilets are simply too low to the ground for many seniors. Arthritis, weak backs, and stiff joints can make rising from a squat difficult and painful. And your aging loved could injure themselves by straining a muscle or even falling by trying to rise from a standard toilet.
To guarantee bathroom safety, the solution is to use a raised toilet seat to reduce the distance your aging loved one must lower themselves to sit on the toilet. At the same time, consider adding a grab bar for additional support. Grab bars can be installed alongside the toilet or next to the shower so that seniors have something to grab onto instead of the towel rack, which wasn’t designed to support the weight of a person.
Communication is Key
Although you may want to provide your aging loved one with the privacy and independence they desire, it’s still important that you have the ability to help them in case they fall or injure themselves in the bathroom.
Consider adding a lock to both sides of the door so that you are able to open it if your loved one does fall and can’t get up. Conversely, if you don’t live with your aging loved one then consider installing a phone in the bathroom. Having an easily accessible phone will allow your loved one to call for help if they should happen to fall and can’t move.
Overall, what you need to remember is that bathrooms can be dangerous for seniors who may struggle with slippery surfaces and low toilet seats. Try these bathroom safety tips today to ease your fears about your aging loved one injuring themselves.