No place in your home is more dangerous than your bathroom; especially when it comes to falls. Hard surfaces, sharp edges, poor footing, combined with the coordinated movements in and out of the shower, set the stage for slips and falls that can prove fatal. Combined with the fact that people without a caregiver are isolated and alone when bathing, it is no wonder that 80% of all falls in senior citizens occur in the bathroom. Fortunately there are innumerable ways you can reduce the hazards of using your bathroom.
- Grab Bars – Grab bars are easy to install and can provide extra leverage for moving around the bath and toilet. They come in a variety of styles from permanent installations to suction grips. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions completely to ensure the bar does not fail when you need it most.
- Improve Traction – Wet porcelain and tile is treacherous. But the danger can be minimized with non-slip strips and rugs. Avoid throw-rugs with no grip that can slip out from under you and make sure your shower curtain is big enough to keep water from accumulating on the floor.
- Lighting – Dim lighting, especially when not wearing eyewear, can cause missteps. Replace burned out bulbs immediately and install high lumen “daylight” bulbs to get the room as bright as possible.
- Declutter – Towels, clothes, and slippers on the floor are unnecessary obstacles you have to navigate. One misstep and you could find yourself on the floor. Always keep the floor clear and dry.
- Improve Seating – Standing up from a seated position requires forearm and lower leg leverage. This leverage can be improved by raising your seated positions, reducing the amount of force and distance needed to stand up. Raised toilet seats with mounted arm bars and shower stools will help you stay in a safe position while using the facilities and reduce your risk when standing up again.
- Slow Down – The days of frantically rushing through the bathroom to get ready and out the door are gone! Allow yourself plenty of time to bathe and stay focused on what you are doing at that moment.
- Ask For Help – Know when it is time to ask a relative or assisted living specialist for help with bathroom tasks. It can be difficult to give up these moments of privacy. But consider this; there is no privacy in being helped off the floor by a paramedic.
Burlington Health Care has everything you need to improve your bathroom safety. Visit our website or stop in today and speak with one of our helpful staff members.