While you might consider your bathroom to be a safe sanctuary to relax and unwind with a soothing bath or invigorating shower following an extended day, for the elderly, the bathroom is probably the most dangerous room in the home. With slippery floors that are even slipperier when wet, closed-in spaces, and hard, unforgiving surfaces, falls are alarmingly common, and quite often bring about severe injury.
At Morning Glory Home Care, we’re always happy to carry out a safety assessment of the home and recommend adjustments to decrease the possibility of falls, and since January is National Bath Safety Month, it is the best time to share some things you can do right now to ensure that your family members are safe throughout each area of the bathroom:
On the Floor
When you initially step into the bathroom, examine bathmats and any other rugs to make sure they are firmly secured to the floor, without any loose edges to trigger tripping hazards. Make sure the floor is always dry and clean, and do not wax bathroom floors.
In the Sink
Install ADA-compliant faucets, which offer both easy-to-turn handles and an adjustable hot water safety stop to avoid burns.
Around the Toilet
Remove and replace standard toilets with ADA-approved versions, which are raised and safer for older adults; or, install an elevated seat onto current toilets. Keep a medical alert button in close proximity to the bathroom, enabling the individual to easily call for help if needed, together with a correctly installed grab bar.
In the Bathtub and Shower
As a general rule, showers or walk-in bathtubs are less hazardous for seniors than standard tubs. Ensure the shower features securely installed grab bars (strong enough to support the weight of an adult), along with a shower chair and handheld shower wand. A water-proof medical alert button should be worn in the shower at all times.
Put commonly-used items, for example, soap, shampoo, towels, washcloths, comb/brush, toothbrush, etc., in easy-to-reach locations, off the floor to make sure nothing poses a fall risk. Utilizing contrasting colors on the floor, walls, and vanity/storage spaces enhances safety as well.
And, possibly the best tip we can offer would be to engage the services of Morning Glory Home Care! Our fully trained and qualified caregivers are readily available to ensure personal care needs, such as bathing, showering, using the toilet, and hair/oral care, are met with the utmost attention to dignity and independence, while making sure senior loved ones remain safe.
For more information about our top-rated home health care in O’Fallon, IL and the surrounding communities, reach out to us any time at 618-667-8400 for a complimentary in-home consultation, and to find out more ways we are making life better for seniors, every single day, right within the comfort of home!