According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2011 study, about 200,000 Americans seek emergency room treatment annually for injuries which occurred in bathrooms.
Bathrooms can be very hazardous places. But, this is particularly the case for seniors with poor balance issues. Between the multiple slippery surfaces and unreliable things to grab onto, chances of slips falls and other injuries are great for seniors.
5 Tips for Making the Bathroom Safer for Seniors
1. Install Grab Bars
When getting in and out of the bathtub, many seniors use towel bars and other fixtures to help balance themselves. However, these bathroom fixtures weren’t made for this. They cannot support a person’s weight, making them very dangerous for supporting balance.
Instead, go ahead and install grab bars around the bathroom. This is a safer way to get in and out of the tub, as well as on and off the toilet.
Make sure the grab bars are slip-resistant. The color should contrast with the wall color for better visibility. Securely fix the bars to the walls studs for maximum support.
2. Install a Tension Poll
This is an alternative to a grab bar. Tension polls are installed from ceiling to floor. Elderly people can grab ahold of them when getting in and out of the bathtub. They provide great support to help seniors balance themselves before and after bathing.
3. Use a Shower Chair
Many elderly people have a hard time standing up in the shower. Others have major issues lowering themselves all the way down into the tub. A shower chair will provide your senior loved one with a stable place to sit while taking a bath.
When buying a shower chair, make sure it’s slide resistant. These types of shower chairs will have rubber tips on the legs. Also, install a hand-held shower head to make bathing that much easier.
4. Use a Tub Transfer Bench
A bath bench, or tub transfer bench, provides seniors with a stable, safe way to step in and out of the bathtub. Because the elderly person is sitting up high, all your loved one must do is simply lift her/his legs up and over the side of the bathtub, instead of having to lift themselves in and out. Installing a hand-held shower head will allow for staying seated while bathing.
5. Install a Walk-In Bathtub
Walk-in tubs remove the high-barrier seniors must clear to get in and out of a bath. Instead of stepping over the side of the tub, all your loved one has to do is simply open the bathtub door, and literally walk inside. So, there’s no risk of slipping or falling due to losing balance trying to take a bath.
Genie Bath Systems is a leader in the San Antonio walk-in bathtub industry. Our walk-in tubs provide seniors with a safer way to bathe. With optional upgrades and custom-sizing, you can install the best walk-in tub solution for your senior loved one.