Many injuries for the elderly happen in their own homes. These falls happen so often that there are more than 2 million visits to the emergency room each year due to falls. Certain rooms are more dangerous than others. Bathroom safety is important to prevent falls and keep the elderly safe. More than 235,000 people experience injuries in the bathroom each year according to the CDC. Making handicap adjustments, including a handicap seat for adults, bathroom grab bars, and other handicap bathroom requirements helps keep the elderly safe while they get to remain in their own home. A handicap accessible bathroom keeps the elderly and handicap safe while they are performing daily chores. Read below to see other ways to ensure the safety of elderly and handicap individuals in their home.
Many falls occur because of a slippery surface and the bathroom is a wet room meaning slippery surfaces are common. Non-slip surfaces should be installed on the floor and in the bathtub to prevent these falls. Usually a fall is not a sever injury in itself, it’s the injury that occurs with the fall, such as broken bones and possibly head injuries. Pay attention to rugs within the household. While it may seem like these can deter slips, they don’t deter falls. The edges can roll up causing a trip or a fall which also leads to the same issues of broken bones or head injuries.
Grab bars are one of the most popular renovations to a house to make it safer for elderly residents. These bars should be placed in a spot so they are easy to reach and allow for safe entry and exit from the tub area. Bars should be used for individuals who are able to grip it while standing, in order to provide extra stability. These bars are an inexpensive investment which provide peace of mind and security for those who need it.
For those individuals who can not benefit from a grab bar in the shower, a good quality shower chair can be useful. These are best used for those individuals who have a hard time standing on their own, lack upper body strength, or who get light headed or dizzy quickly. Not only do these chairs provide safe shower options, they provide a place to sit and rest while taking a shower. This helps provide safety and security while still maintaining some privacy and elderly independence while in the shower.
Toilet seats for bathroom safety are not something that you really think about often. The problem with them is they are usually low to the ground. This doesn’t seem like a big deal, except the older we get the less easily we are able to bend. This can make sitting on the toilet a real challenge. Raised toilet seats offer three to four inches of extra toilet seat which makes it easier for them to sit. They usually also offer rails for extra assistance. This helps to prevent falls from seniors and elderly individuals loosing their balance.
Hard to Reach Items
You want to make sure that everything is within reach and easily accessible. This may mean extra cabinets, bins on the floor, or even extra caddy space in the shower. Making sure that everything can be reached without bending or grabbing helps ensure that there are no sudden movements on a wet surface which could result in slips or falls.
When thinking about bathroom safety, these tips should help safeguard the bathroom to protect from trips and falls. Other bathroom safety measures that should not be overlooked is lighting, make sure it is adequate. Doors, you want access in case of an accident. Finally, consider a way for them to signal help should it be needed. A phone would be helpful. This allows them to call for help from someone inside the house or even outside the house should the need arise. These tips will help them feel safe and help ease your mind while still allowing for adequate privacy.
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