Margaret was surprised to read that hundreds of thousands of aging Americans are injured in slip and fall accidents every year and that the majority of these take place in the senior’s bathroom. Her own elderly father had a fall in the bathroom last month and it worried her. She learned that the combination of water on hard surfaces and age-related physical limitations were a big part of why senior health experts often consider the bathroom as the most dangerous rooms in the house for elderly Americans. Margaret was determined to re-evaluate her aging father’s bathroom and implement better safety features to protect him from harm.
When aging adults experience a slip and fall accident in the bathroom, it can lead to both minor and major injuries. Ranging from scratches and bruises to head injuries and broken bones, injuries from a slip and fall might be prevented with the implementation of better bathroom safety practices. Aging adults deserve to be safe in their own home, so family caregivers have the responsibility to increase bathroom safety.
One of the first things that family caregivers can do is to make the floor surfaces, both in the tub and shower as well as in the larger bathroom area, less dangerous. Non-skid bath mats are a fine way to give seniors a secure place to step and stand. Textured and waterproof stickers can fit on the tub floor to provide extra traction. Family caregivers should get rid of thick, slippery throw rugs and any other item that could cause seniors to trip.
Another thing a family caregiver can do to boost bathroom safety is to install safety features like tub or shower chairs, handheld shower heads and grab bars in the shower and near the toilet. Raised toilet seats also help seniors with balance issues. Family caregivers should always make sure the lighting is adequate in the bathroom and may consider installing motion lights to ensure the room is always illuminated whenever seniors need it.
If family caregivers have the resources, they can do some remodeling for the bathroom to make it extra safe. Remodels include bath lifts, installing walk-in tubs, replacing tub showers with walk-in showers and even redoing the entire bathroom to suit an aging adult’s needs as far as appliances, layout and features. Remodeling can be quite costly, and there are usually a lot of things that family caregivers can do that are more affordable.
Finally, the best safety feature that a family caregiver can arrange for is hiring a home care provider. These professional assistants have experience in caring for aging adults in their own home, keeping them safe, comfortable and healthy. With a home care provider near, aging adults can have the support and help they need, for their bathroom needs and beyond. Home care providers helping aging adults will drastically reduce the slip and fall accidents in the bathroom, because someone else will be there to provide strong support and careful assistance.