Senior Home Safety Tips According to a 2010 AARP Study, over 90% of the respondents…
Top Bathroom Safety Tips
Did you know that the bathroom is the most dangerous place in your home, causing 70% of all household injuries. For Seniors it is even worse. According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), more than one out of three seniors fall each year, with 80% of those falls being in the bathroom. Bathroom slips and falls have been proven to be responsible for 87% of the fractures in Seniors. With today’s technology and easy access to home medical products, its easier than ever to make bathrooms safer for everyone. View the Top Bathroom Safety Tips below to prevent falls and injuries in your bathroom.
- Install Grab Bars: When installed and placed properly, grab bars become life savers. Grab bars provide a secure, stable, and safe option to hold onto when navigating your bathroom, taking a shower, or rising and sitting from the toilet. A majority of grab bars are installed directly into the tile or sheet rock of the wall utilizing the studs. Compared to towel racks and soap holders, grab bars are much more reliable and safe as that is what they are designed to do. Towel racks are not designed to be held onto or support a persons body weight. Another alternative would be a security pole, that is tension mounted to the floor and ceiling, stretching up to 10 ft. Did you know that Independently Yours Medical Supplies installs grab bars? Call us for more information: 303-840-4444
- Raised Toilet Seats: Raised toilet seats will making using the toilet easier and more convenient for both seniors, and people who are battling injuries or limited mobility. The elevated toilet seat is available with or without arms, providing you additional support and seat height to make standing up and sitting down easier. This helps significantly with people who are recovering from surgery, have weak muscle groups, or limited mobility. Our two top selling raised toilet seats give you the option of easily attaching the elevated toilet seat over your existing toilet and clamping it on, no tools necessary. Or you can choose the raised toilet seat that bolts onto your toilet but also allows you to use your own original toilet seat.
- Commodes: Commodes are an ideal alternative to using a traditional toilet. Depending on each individuals circumstance, they may not always be mobile enough to get to the bathroom in time. With the use of a standard 3-1 commode, the commode can be used anywhere in the home, making it easy to use and get to. What makes the commode even better is that it can also be used as a toilet seat riser, as it can be placed over your existing toilet. By raising the height adjustable legs, and using the splash guard, you have now just raised the height of your toilet seat making it easier to get up and down. Independently Yours carries the standard 3-1 commode, folding commodes, extra wide commodes, drop arm commodes, and shower chair commodes.
- Bath Seat and Shower Bench: The addition of a bath seat or shower chair will significantly reduce the chances of seniors slipping or falling while bathing. A bath seat provides a convenient solution to bathing that makes it safe, less tiring, and enables seniors to maintain their balance. High quality models, such as the ones found at Independently Yours Medical Supplies, are made of durable, water proof material with rubber anti-slip tips that hold 300+ lbs. Bath seats and shower benches come in a variety of styles such as ones with arms, backs, hand hold slots and swivel seats.
- Non-Slip Surface: One of the main reasons bathrooms are leading cause of slips and falls in your home is because it is prone to slippery surfaces. Most bathroom floors are made of tile, which are slippery on their own not to mention when water is added, it becomes a serious hazard. The bathtub and shower when wet are extremely dangerous, and tough to get secure and stable footing. It is recommended by many health care professionals to have a bath mat, or anti-slip strips on the floor of your shower or tub to prevent slips and falls. On the floor of your bathroom, a small rug that is tacked to the floor will also significantly reduce the chance of slips. One additional tip, is to prevent the build up of puddled water.
- Hand-Held Shower Head: Compared to a standard shower head, the hand held shower head allows seniors to move the showerhead to bathe themselves rather then having to walk or relocate under the overhead shower head. By reducing the amount of walking and mobility in the shower or bathtub, this will significantly reduce the chances of slips and falls. A few of the many benefits of using the Deluxe Hand Held Shower Head is that it allows you to control the water flow, spray variations, pause and turn it on or off all while sitting down.
- Improved Bathroom Lighting: The addition of an automatic LED nightlight in the bathroom and hallway leading to the bathroom has been shown to drastically reduce falls and injuries in the bathroom. Having additional light as you navigate the bathroom at night in the dark will prevent running into objects and tripping over items. Studies have also shown that for seniors of the age of 60, bathrooms lighting should have at least 646 lumens of light. As seniors age over 80, then number of lumens of light increase to 968 to efficiently cater to the eyes of seniors.
- Walk-In Tub or Shower: If possible or affordable, a walk-in shower or bathtub is ideal for both seniors and anyone with poor mobility. Stepping over the tub rail or threshold adds an unnecessary risk while bathing and requires the assistance of a second person. With a walk-in/wheel in tub or shower, this risk is avoided and the person can maintain independence and bathe safely and freely. There is even a Portable Shower Bay that can be used anywhere in the home, where the patient can wheel them self in, bathe, rinse and wheel out.
- Towel Placement: Towels should be placed within an easy, arms length reach from the tub or shower. You do not want to put a senior or person with lack of mobility in a position to be reaching or straining to reach for a towel while standing on a wet, slippery, shower floor.
- Emergency: An additional safety measure that could be taken, for in the event of an emergency would be to install a medical alert system or a SMART Caregiver Pager System. Often times if a senior falls in the bathroom, it results in a serious injury where they are unable to get up or get to a phone to call for help. This is where having a medical alert system to the police/fire department or a patient alarm with a caregiver would help.
When it comes to bathroom safety, it is better to be over prepared than take the chance of having a loved one or patient slip and fall risking serious injury. Many of the bath safety tips and recommendations are easy to make and affordable. Taking precautionary measures, as tedious as they may be, can be a life saver down the road especially in regards to seniors.