Even though you may consider your bathroom to be a safe place where you can relax and rest with a soothing bath or invigorating shower at the end of an extended day, for older adults, the bathroom is actually probably the most dangerous room in the house. With slippery floors that are even slipperier when wet, closed-in spaces, and hard, unforgiving surfaces, falls are alarmingly frequent, and sometimes end in serious injury.
At At-Home Care Company, we’re always prepared to carry out a safety assessment of the house and recommend home modifications to lower the chance of falls, and since January is National Bath Safety Month, it is the perfect time to share some steps you can take right now to keep your family members safe throughout each area of the bathroom:
On the Floor
When you initially step into the bathroom, examine bathmats and any other rugs to make certain that they’re properly attached to the floor, without any loose edges to cause tripping hazards. Make sure the floor is always clean and dry, and never wax bathroom floors.
In the Sink
Install ADA-compliant faucets, which feature both easy-to-turn handles and a variable hot water safety stop for preventing burns.
Around the Toilet
Replace standard toilets with ADA-approved versions, which are raised and safer for the elderly; or, install an elevated seat onto existing toilets. Keep a medical alert button near the toilet, enabling a senior loved one to easily call for help if needed, as well as a firmly installed grab bar.
In the Bathtub and Shower
As a general rule, showers or walk-in bathtubs are less dangerous for the elderly than standard tubs. Ensure the shower features securely installed grab bars (strong enough to support the weight of an adult) in addition to a shower chair and handheld shower wand. A water-resistant medical alert button should be worn in the shower at all times.
Place frequently-used items, such as soap, shampoo, towels, washcloths, comb/brush, toothbrush, etc., in easy-to-reach locations, off of the floor to ensure nothing poses a fall risk. Utilizing contrasting colors on the floor, walls, and vanity/storage spaces enhances safety as well.
And, probably the best tip we are able to offer is to engage the services of At-Home Care Company! Our fully trained and qualified caregivers providing senior care in Des Moines, IA and surrounding communities are available to make certain that personal care needs, such as bathing, showering, utilizing the toilet, and hair/oral care, are met with the utmost attention to dignity and independence, while making certain older adults remain secure and safe.