Did you know that more than one third of all persons over the age of 65 fall every year? Most of the times, these falls happen in the home. Fortunately, most falls do not result in significant injury. The worst most people feel is a bruise or scraped knee. However, falling in the bathroom is a different matter altogether.
According to this 2011 study from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), almost 200,000 Americans are treated in emergency rooms for bathroom related injuries each year.
There are a variety of reasons that bathroom falls are significantly more dangerous but the majority of the falls are due to very unforgiving and slippery surfaces and a lack of reliable things to grab onto. While we always recommend our walk in tubs and hydrotherapy showers for the ultimate protection, they can be quite expensive. Here are some simple ways to make a safe bathroom without breaking the bank:
These devices are an excellent way for your loved one to support themselves while getting in and out of the tub or shower. These are different than towel bars for a couple of reasons. Primarily, towel bars aren’t designed to support weight. Also, these are mounted vertically which provides a more stable gripping environment
These are an excellent device to help elderly people bathe while in the shower. You need to be very careful when purchasing a shower chair though. Make sure the chair you are using has rubber feet to prevent slipping and, you should also make sure you have an adhesive surface of some kind in the base of your shower for maximum protection.
Used in combination with the shower chairs above, you can provide a powerful one, two punch to creating a safe bathroom. Non-Slip mats with suction cup bottoms work really well to help prevent falls in the shower and in the tub.
Raised Toilet Seats
While Expert Home Safety focuses primarily on tub and shower safety, the toilet can also be a place that can cause issues. Installing a raised toilet seat can help an elderly person who has difficulty getting into (or out of) a seated position when they need to use the toilet. You would be surprised how much a simple 3-4 inch raised toilet seat can make a difference. For extra safety, you can also install grab bars around the toilet.
These simple solutions can provide a basic level of safety in the bathroom and maximize your loved ones independence while living at home. Of course, nothing will provide the same level of safety as a walk in tub so we still strongly recommend you contact us for assistance with getting one of these installed.