Each time your aging loved one goes into their bathroom, the risk of injury is greater than you may realize. A bathroom which may have served as a perfectly functional and safe area in the past may now need to be re-evaluated for possible hazards. Bathrooms have slippery surfaces, and few dependable things to grasp onto, which greatly increase the chances for harm to your aging loved one. Injuries due to a fall range from minor cuts, scrapes and bruises to more severe injuries, such as broken bones such as hip fractures, head contusions, and even spinal cord injury. Poor muscle strength and balance associated with aging increasing the risk for your loved one. Many falls occur while getting in and out of the tub/shower, sitting down and getting up from the toilet, using towel bars, sink tops, or other surfaces for support.
In addition to decreased strength and balance associated with aging, bathrooms often have shower chairs that are not slip resistant, towel racks that could fall when gripped for support, bathtubs that are hard to get into and out of, slippery surfaces and low toilets that are hard to get up from. These factors along with the physical limitations of aging make for a situation that could serve as a catalyst for a serious injury.
For peace of mind home care, a safer bathroom is an important element.
Below are a several safety measures that you can reduce the risk for you aging loved one:
• Install grab bars for balance
• Purchase a shower chair for less risk to fall
• Install a tub-attached grab bar to help your loved one in and out
• Use a bath bench to transfer in and out of the shower/bath
• Utilize a rubber non-slip bath mat
• Place Non-slip adhesive strips in the bathtub
• Purchase a raised toilet seat to help your loved one up and down
• Place toiletries within your aging loved one’s reach
• Have a companion caregiver nearby for assistance
• Clean soap scum from tubs regularly to prevent slipping
• Have a telephone (or medical alert system)installed in the bathroom
• Make sure that the bathroom area is well-lit
As your loved one ages, keeping them injury free can be as simple as installing safety devices in their bathroom. Prevent injury and a lengthy recovery with the simple measures mentions above as well as consulting with your aging loved one’s companion caregiver about their daily habits. The companion caregiver will be able to help you see areas that may need safe-proofing depending on your loved ones needs in addition to these suggestions. If you are in need of a companion caregiver, give us a call at 828.200.9000 and let’s talk about the best solution to fit your needs.