For senior citizens all over Canada, making shower time an experience that is as slip-free as possible is vitally important. After all, slips and falls in the bathroom are a leading cause of hospitalizations for elderly Canadians. So what can you do to ensure that shower time is a safe experience for your elderly loved one?
Brighten the lights.
Most of us take our vision for granted. This is why many of us wait to change dead light bulbs in our bathrooms. Does this sound like you? Many bathrooms contain several lighting sources. So, in many cases, as long as one or more bulbs are working, we don’t rush to buy new ones. The elderly can’t take such chances. It’s imperative they are able to clearly see everything in front of them. Making your bathroom as well-lit as possible will help your elderly loved one to stay safe.
“Since many seniors are vision-impaired, keeping lights bright can help make the bathroom easier to navigate” writes Michael Watson of Caring Senior Service, “Change bulbs out frequently to ensure that the lights don’t go out on your loved one.”
Make all bathing necessities easy to reach.
Sometimes, it isn’t the surfaces of your bathroom that cause slips and falls. Instead, it’s the unsteadiness of the senior citizen using your bathroom. Does your elderly loved one suffer from limited mobility and/or have poor balance? If so, it’s imperative that you put all of his/her bathing necessities within easy reach. Install a shower rack or shelf that will make it so that no bending in the shower is ever necessary.
“Consider installing soap, shampoo, lotion and conditioner dispensers inside the shower and by the sink,” suggests In Home Care, “Using anti-slip adhesive strips on sink edges helps decrease fall risks from gripping wet sinks or from wet hand slips. Clearly marking water faucet handles for hot/cold, installing foot-lever water controls and turning down the hot water tank temperature are all good recommended measures to ensure a safer bathroom for your senior.”
Install a walk-in tub.
Traditional tubs have no doors – naturally. For most of us, lifting our legs to get ourselves into our bathtubs is an easy task we take for granted. For many seniors, however, limited mobility and poor balance make getting into a tub a hardship. With a walk-in tub, seniors can do away with the whole “lifting a leg” scenario. This prevents what Watson calls a “prime opportunity for a trip and fall”.
“The chances for falling here are often increased because your feet are wet,” he writes of traditional bathtubs, “A walk-in tub makes it less likely you will trip or be off- balance, standing on one wet foot. You can further decrease your fall likelihood by adding traction decals to the bottom of the shower and a rubber-backed bath mat outside the tub.”
Night lights and walk-in tubs are just two of the many home bathroom modifications offered by LifeCare Mobility Solutions. For more information about how we can help you to make shower time a safer experience for your elderly loved one, please don’t hesitate to call us at 416-267-9800 or email us at [email protected]. You may also contact us by filling out the form on our Contact page!