Most accidents in homes happen in bathrooms. Especially senior citizens and people with lesser mobility are prone to suffer slips and falls in bathrooms since the surface is slippery over there.
Studies show in a typical year over 200,000 Americans are treated in the emergency wards of hospitals for bathroom related injuries. Bathrooms are by all means hazardous places. The injuries resulting from falls can range from minor cuts to severe injuries or bone breakages. Some serious cases of bathroom injuries can lead to hip fractures, head contusions and spinal cord injuries. Though anyone can fall inside the bathroom, senior citizens with poor muscle strength and balance are at an increased risk. Here we discuss some safety measures to make the bathrooms senior citizen friendly.
Poor balance while moving in and out of shower
Many senior citizens hold towel bars or shower or tub features while climbing in or out of the shower. Know that towel bars are good for holding towels, but they are not built to support the weight of persons. Therefore the best way out is to install a grab bar in easy to reach places.
For those seniors with a good upper body strength, grab bars are good options. They can gain support from gar bars while moving or standing. It is necessary that the grab bars must be slip-resistant. Therefore it is advisable to choose grip surfaces than bars with glass finish. It is also a good idea to go for a contrasting color from the wall so that it is better visible. Prefer bolted on bars instead of suction cup bars.
Observe where the elder person usually holds onto while entering the shower and place the grab bars in that location. The idea is to make their behavior safe rather than trying to change their behavior.
A good alternative to grab bars is to install a tension pole from floor to ceiling that would provide adequate support for the seniors to hold on for gaining the much needed balance.
Fittings to enhance balance while showering
Install a shower chair for increasing the balance during shower. This will help those that cannot stand for a long time. These days good shower chairs come with rubber tips fitted on the legs to help avoid sliding. Used with a hand-held shower head, this can help the elders stay seated while having a shower.
Fittings to overcome slippery surfaces
Elders are prone to fall while getting in and out of showers or bathtubs. Non-slip mats or decals on the floor of the tub or shower in addition to a non-slip rug on the floor while entering or exiting shower or tub.
A rubber non-slip mat
Mats or non-slip adhesive strips fixed to the bathtub and shower floor surface can provide a highly stable footing. Non-slip adhesive strips are fixed on top of the sink edges for preventing hand slippage if the seniors have the habit of using those surfaces for balance and support.