Enhancing Bathroom Safety With Age in Place Home Care Services Wilmington, NC.

Enhancing Bathroom Safety With Age in Place Home Care Services Wilmington, NC.

Apr 17, 2024

When Aging in Place becomes the goal the bathroom is an area of immediate concern. Did you know that more than 230,000 Americans experience slips and falls that lead to serious injuries in the bathroom every year.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that falls are the leading cause of injuries and the leading cause of fatalities amongst the senior population. Bathroom falls are resulting in costly fractures, head injuries, and hospital stays. It also accounts for the loss of independence and, in some cases, death.

Items that contribute to Slips and Falls in the Bathroom

Several factors contribute to slips and falls in the bathroom:

  1. Wet slippery floors.
  2. Tripping over rugs or towels.
  3. Grab bars that are not attached properly.
  4. Getting in and out of the shower/bathtub
  5. Lose and Broken tiles.
  6. Poor lighting
  7. High hot water temperatures
  8. Standing up or sitting down on a toilet

Bathroom Fall Prevention

1. Install Grab Bars

Grab bars are a great way to take fall prevention measures for senior bathroom safety. But make sure they are securely attached. They should be drilled directly into a stud. If you are using suction cup grab bars replace them immediately, they come lose unexpectedly.

  • Grab bars provide support when moving in and out of the tub or getting on and off the toilet.
  • If you slip or become unstable, grab bars offer a secure place to hold onto and prevent a fall.

2. Improve Storage Accessibility

Locate commonly used items in an easy location. Take items located under the sink and consider installing easy to reach selves. In the bathtub or shower place soap, shampoo, conditioner, towels, and any other bathing items within easy reach. Make sure that clutter is not an issue, we don’t want our seniors to have to bend over in the tub to pick up items that fell.

3. Declutter and Remove obstacles

Begin by removing items that are easily tripped over. Stepping in and out of the bathtub is very problematic for the senior community. If possible, installing a walk-in shower or walk-in tub is an excellent bathroom fall prevention measure.

Rugs should be removed, they are easy to slip on or trip over. It is recommended to only use bathmats with non-slip backings. They can be hung to dry and placed out of the way when not in use. Remove trash cans, scales, plungers, and toilet brushes from heavy-traffic areas where they pose a fall threat.

4. Improve Lighting and Visibility

Many seniors make trips at night due to frequent urination. It is great to make sure that their path is well lit, use night lights illuminate the path from the bedroom to the bathroom as an excellent way to prevent fall or injury.

5. Reduce excessive or Over-Exertion

The CDC reports that overexertion is the No. 2 most frequent cause of injuries in the bathroom, just behind falls.

A secure bathing seat in the shower and a raised seat above the toilet are excellent alternatives to prevent over-exertion in the bathroom.

6. Prevent Hot Water Burns

As we age, we lose collagen in our skin, and it becomes much thinner. The skin of the elderly population is more injury prone and reactions to heat can be delayed. So, they may not notice hot temperatures before doing damage.

To prevent the risk of burns caused by hot water make sure you lower the temperature on the hot water heater to a maximum temperature of 120 degrees F.

One of the easiest things we can do to protect our seniors is to practice great fall prevention measures especially in the bathroom.

It is important that when working with an adult who is of sound mind that we make sure not to over step our bounds and to work with them to preserve their sense of independence. It is always best to explain the reasons why it is being suggested, and to get their by in before taking matters into our own hands with out their permission and by in.

Age in Place Home Care Services is dedicated to meeting and exceeding our clients expectations when ever possible. If you have any questions about you or your loved ones safety we are here for you. Feel free to call us at (910) 348-7440. we are also available for free in home safety inspections.

Age in Place, in your own home where you belong!