Many slips and falls that happen around the house occur in the bathroom. Understanding why these rooms are so dangerous for the elderly can help you make choices that will make them safer places for your whole family. Here are some of the greatest dangers that seniors have to deal with in the bathroom.
One of the greatest dangers a bathroom presents is, of course, a floor that’s often wet and slippery. While there may not be a way to always keep your floor completely dry, there are ways you can mitigate the problem. Installing non-slip tile or vinyl is one option, as is covering your floor with a layer of non-slip tread. Bath mats can also be useful for giving better traction on slippery floors of tubs and showers.
Bathrooms are filled with sharp surfaces, from the floor to the counters to the bathtub and toilet. What’s worse, many of these have sharp edges and corners that can do a lot of damage if a senior falls. Look for vanity covers and other accessories with rounded edges. You may even be able to have someone round off the edges of your current counters to make them less of a danger. Or you can find corner guards and other protective accessories at a home improvement store.
Sitting and Standing
When seniors sit down or stand up, it can cause a fall from the change in blood pressure. Since this happens a lot in a bathroom, it’s one of the primary areas these types of falls happen. You can minimize the risks by installing grab bars to give seniors something to hang onto as they sit and stand. You can also change out your current toilet and tub and shower combo to make them easier to use. Raising your toilet makes it easier to sit and stand, while bathtubs and showers should be designed with plenty of support as users enter, sit down, and stand back up.
Another reason to change out your old tubs and showers is to avoid prolonged standing. Many seniors aren’t capable of standing for long periods of time, and can fall while taking a shower. Opt for a shower that lets you sit down or a bathtub that’s easy to get in and out of. These types of showers and bathtubs are also less of a tripping hazard, making them safer to use all around.