Bathrooms pose safety risks for all of us, but the elderly are especially prone to accidents and injuries while using these facilities. It is possible to implement preventative measures while maintaining dignity and independence for your loved one. A few simple adjustments in the bathroom reduce the risk of falls and injuries and provide a much-needed sense of safety and comfort for individuals living alone or receiving in home senior care.
Bathroom Safety Risks
Getting in and out of the tub can be physically challenging and poses a high risk of injury. Slippery surfaces like bottoms and sides of the tub further contribute to this risk. Lowering and raising oneself from the toilet is another challenging task for the elderly. Arthritis or problems with hips, knees, or back complicate these actions even more.
- Non-slip suction mats or rubber silicone appliqués in and around the tub are an excellent way to prevent injuries. To ensure sturdy bath mobility, a loved one or a caregiver should place one mat on the tub’s bottom and one outside the tub for stepping out onto.
- Grab bars provide additional support for getting in and out of bathtubs, or for raising and lowering the body once in the water. Place institutional-grade stainless steel bars all around the tub: a vertical U-shaped bar above the faucet assists in entering and exiting the tub, while a horizontal bar at the foot end and on the back wall allow the bather to safely get in and out of a seated position. A family member or in home nursing care provider should also ensure the installation of a steel bar by the toilet to provide stability and leverage. Towel bars should never be used as support bars.
More Support Options
- Raising the toilet seat five to seven inches improves ease of use while also providing leverage for standing. Molded plastic seats or adjustable seats are affordable and easy to install.
- Portable chairs and benches placed in tubs can further assist with bathing, while an inside-outside transfer bench allows the bather to slide into the tub easily. Ensure all seats have non-slip rubber tips for maximum safety.
To ensure all preventative measures have been taken, consider asking a professional in home care provider or occupational therapist provided by a licensed and certified home health care agency for advice. Nightingale is one of the most trusted Phoenix homecare companies, and we would be happy to answer your questions about elderly independence and bathroom safety. Whether your loved one is living independently or receiving homecare, we can provide you with valuable information and advice. If you’re interested in learning more about our professional in home nursing care services for someone you love, please call us at (602) 504-1555 or visit us online to find a compassionate caregiver in Phoenix.