Bathrooms are one of the most dangerous rooms in the home for elderly adults. They are full of hard surfaces, sharp corners, and slick floors, making them unforgiving spaces for falls. One in four adults, aged 65 or older, experience a fall annually, and up to 80% of these falls occur in the bathroom. Resulting injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to fractures and broken bones, even accidental deaths.
It doesn’t take much for a devastating fall to occur in the bathroom. Issues with dizziness, balance, muscle weakness, changes in blood pressure, and more, make bathroom activities difficult and dangerous. It’s important to ensure bathrooms are equipped with safety aids to prevent bathroom falls and help your loved ones preserve their independence.
Bathroom Safety Aids
Bathroom aids can make day-to-day activities safer and give your loved ones a sense of independence and empowerment. Though individuals may require specific aids to meet their needs, consider the following items for added safety and fall prevention:
Grab Bars – Majority of bathroom falls occur when getting in or out of a bathtub/shower. Grab bars are an economical way to provide stable support when moving in and around the bath area. They also provide a secure place to grab in the event of a fall. Grab bars can be installed near the toilet for added leverage and balance.
Shower Chairs & Transfer Benches – Shower chairs and transfer benches provide stability for seniors who struggle with balance or standing. Both aids allow an individual to stay seated while bathing to avoid slipping. Transfer benches ease the transition into a shower area and are ideal for individuals who struggle with balance, strength, or lifting their legs over the side of a tub.
Bath Lifts – Bath lifts are a great way for seniors and people with limited mobility to safely enjoy a bath. They slowly lower an individual into the bath, making getting in and out of the bath more effortless and secure. Bath lifts are controlled with a handheld remote giving the individual more independence to bathe on their own.
Raised Toilet Seats – Raised toilet seats and safety frames reduce the amount of distance and effort needed to sit and stand when using the toilet. Safety frames provide a guide and extra support for lowering and raising one’s body. Both are especially useful for anyone struggling with knee pain, hip pain, joint pain, etc,.
Handheld Shower Heads – Handheld shower heads are convenient aids to allow individuals more independence to effectively cleanse their bodies, even while remaining seated. Handheld shower heads feature long hoses to better reach all areas of the body and provide more control over the direction of the water. Some feature an on/off switch to make it easier to turn on and off than having to reach, and risk falling, for wall mounted controls.
See more bathroom and shower safety aids here
A few simple changes can transform a bathroom from a dangerous space into a safe space. The need for a bathroom aid can be hard to admit and can leave some people feeling embarrassed. It’s important to talk with your loved ones and remind them that the use of a bathroom aid is meant to keep them safe, help them feel confident using the bathroom, and retain their independence.