The LifeCare Mobility Solutions Blog has long alerted its readers about the dangers of the bathroom. Naturally, it’s a room in the home that we use every day of our lives. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the slippery surfaces of the bathroom can make it a dangerous location. This is especially true for seniors who may not necessarily be steady on their feet.
It is essential to create a safe environment to prevent accidents and promote independence. What are the most common injuries sustained by seniors and what can be done to mitigate those risks?
Slips and falls.
Slips and falls are the leading cause of injuries among seniors in the bathroom. Wet and slippery surfaces, such as shower floors and bathroom tiles, can easily result in loss of balance. Installing grab bars near the toilet, shower and bathtub can provide stability and support. Non-slip mats or adhesive strips in the shower or bathtub can significantly reduce the risk of slipping.
Adequate lighting is also crucial. It ensures clear visibility and prevents accidents due to poor visibility or shadows. Regularly checking and maintaining proper drainage and water temperature control in showers or bathtubs is essential for preventing falls as well.
Bathing accidents can occur when seniors have difficulty getting in and out of the bathtub or shower safely. Stepping over high bathtub edges or navigating slippery shower floors can be challenging, leading to accidents.
To prevent such injuries, installing a walk-in shower or a bathtub with a low threshold can provide easier access. The addition of a shower chair or bench allows seniors to bathe comfortably while reducing the risk of falls. Handheld showerheads with adjustable heights can also facilitate bathing while seated, promoting independence and safety.
Hot water burns can be a significant concern for seniors in the bathroom. Reduced sensitivity to heat or delayed reaction times may increase the risk of scalding injuries. To minimize this risk, it is crucial to set the water heater temperature at a safe level (typically 49°C) to prevent excessively hot water.
Consider installing anti-scald devices or thermostatic mixing valves to regulate water temperature automatically. As well, clearly marking hot and cold faucets or handles can help seniors differentiate between them easily, reducing the chance of accidental burns.
Trips on rugs and mats.
Rugs and mats that are not securely anchored or have curled edges pose a tripping hazard for seniors. It is recommended to remove loose rugs or replace them with non-slip alternatives. If rugs are necessary, ensure they have non-slip backings or use double-sided tape to secure them firmly to the floor.
Avoid placing rugs in high-traffic areas, near the toilet or in front of the bathtub or shower. Regularly check the condition of mats and replace them if they show signs of wear or fraying edges.
At LifeCare Mobility Solutions, we offer a wide variety of home bathroom modifications. They include oversized light switches, roll in showers, bath lift chairs, transfer benches, walk in tubs, night lights, grab bars, raised support toilet seats and shower chairs. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to 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!