If we’re being honest, most of us take the act of taking a shower for granted. It’s an act – generally a daily one – that requires little to no thought or effort. However, for seniors and individuals with disabilities, taking a shower can be a dangerous undertaking. In fact, you don’t have to have any issues with strength or balance to incur a slip and fall in the shower. It can happen to anyone!
Needless to say, bathtubs have slippery surfaces. But there are also other factors at play that need to be considered. So what steps can be taken to ensure a safer shower? Here are three:
1. Ensure the safety of the entire bathroom.
Before we can even begin to discuss the bathing experience, the bathroom itself must be addressed. Are there elements of your bathroom that are causing your elderly loved one stress? Is the bathtub too steep to climb into? Are there any grab bars to hold on to? Does the bathroom floor constantly need wiping up? Clean, dry and tidy are certainly the way to go. However, it’s vital that your bathroom is ridden of any of its dangerous elements.
You may wish to replace your traditional tub with the walk-in variety. The door helps to prevent the need to take a big and potentially dangerous step. Eliminate throw rugs and replace them with non-slip mats as well.
2. Create a fun and relaxed environment.
In many cases, the stress that comes with shower time happens before the shower even begins. For seniors and people with disabilities, the need for assistance is often the cause of stress. If you’re a caregiver of such an individual, it’s wise to make shower time a fun and relaxed experience. The process begins long before the visit to the bathroom. Respecting privacy as much as possible is all part of this process.
“As you help to undress and bathe your loved one, try to be as relaxed as possible,” advises the University of Michigan, “Shower time can be embarrassing for you and the person you’re caring for. This may be especially true if you are caring for someone of the opposite sex. If you aren’t embarrassed or upset, the person may feel more comfortable.”
3. Cater to your loved one’s mobility issues.
For any individual with a mobility issue, taking a shower can be a dangerous situation. This is especially true for seniors who contend with medical conditions that impact their strength and balance. Investing in such bathroom accessibility items as transfer benches, shower chairs and grab bars is often recommended.
“Parkinson’s disease or arthritis can make it difficult for a person to transition from standing to sitting easily,” says CaregiverStress.com, “If you are caring for a loved one who has mobility issues, you should be very careful when helping them get into and out of the tub or shower. Consider using specialized bath items to help make transferring as safe as possible.”
Transfer benches are just one of the many high-quality home bathroom modifications offered by LifeCare Mobility Solutions. We also offer grab bars, walk-in tubs, roll-in showers, bath lift chairs and shower chairs among other solutions that help to make your bathroom a much safer place. For more information, call us at 416-267-9800 or email us at email@example.com. You may also contact us by filling out the form on our Contact page!