Falling remains a common hazard for senior adults, with hospital emergency departments treating 2.8 million such injuries annually. Taking appropriate safety measures can greatly reduce the risk of falling and limit serious injury in case your loved one does fall.
Because so many of these accidents occur in the bathroom, senior loved ones and their caregivers should make sure this room is as safe as possible. A careful safety check of the bathroom can point out areas of concern.
Senior Bathroom Safety Issues to Address
● Does the tub or shower floor have a non-slip surface? If not, add floor mats or non-skid appliques to prevent slipping.
● Are bathroom floors textured, such as with tile or carpet? If not, add non-skid carpet or rugs for traction.
● Does your loved one have trouble standing in the shower? A bath bench can reduce the need to stand in the shower or tub.
● Is the bathroom lighting bright enough? Does it reach the areas it needs to? Add lamps or wall lighting where needed.
● Are light switches easily accessible near the door?
● Are all lights functioning properly? Change any burned-out light bulbs and repair malfunctioning lights and switches.
● Do the bathroom doors open outward? If not, consider having them refitted to make it easier to reach your loved one in an emergency.
● Can the doorways accommodate any mobility devices your loved one needs, such as walkers or wheelchairs?
● Does the shower have a glass door? Consider swapping it out for safety glass or plastic in case your loved one falls against it.
● Is it easy for your loved one to use the sinks and showers? Seniors with arthritis may find that lever handles are easier to use than twisting knobs, including doorknobs.
● Is the shower head difficult to reach? A shower head attachment can help your loved avoid stretching or twisting as much to bathe.
● Could you install a walk-in bathtub to make it easier for your loved one to get in or out of the tub?
● Does your senior loved one have difficulty getting on or off the toilet? Install a higher toilet or add a seat extender.
● Are there grab bars where senior adults may need them for balance or standing? These bars should be installed near the shower and toilet.
● Are items like towels and toiletries within in easy reach?
● Do the outlets prevent electric shock? Make sure appliances are unplugged when not in use.
● Is there sufficient heat and ventilation?
● Is there a way to call for help in case of a fall?
● What is the temperature of the water heater? Set it at 120 degrees to prevent scalding.
Keep Senior Loved Ones Safe
Besides protecting seniors from falls, a safe bathroom encourages independence and proper hygiene, which can increase overall health and well-being.
At Randall Residences, our team members work to connect with residents and solve problems quickly and easily. Our aim is to make each resident feel at home and give family members peace of mind. Contact us today to learn about our community options, ask questions, or schedule a tour.