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Bathroom Safety for Seniors

Retirement woman fell down in a restroom

Most seniors (95%, in fact) want to remain at home and continue to live independently. But with this desire, comes the importance of properly vetting the home for safety—bathrooms being at the top of the list.

Bathrooms are THE #1 place where seniors fall—these injuries happen most frequently when one is exiting the shower or tub due to slippery, wet surfaces or   getting on and off the toilet. Injuries are then sustained due to the impact of an object in the bathroom or perhaps holding onto something that is not secure.

Consider the bathroom safety tips to keep you or your loved one safe.

Bathroom Safety Tips:

  • Getting in and out of the tub or shower can be a challenge for many seniors that can significantly increase their chance of falling—balance and strength is usually the culprit. Install a grab bar and a safety step to ease shower entry and exit.
  • Placing a shower chair or bench with a sturdy shower curtain is a great safety tool for those who have trouble standing in the shower. Also, apply non-skid applications, such as shower mats or safety strips—check frequently that the strips have not lost their muster. Be sure all bathing aids are within easy reach. This includes the soap dish, shampoo, sponges and shower handle.
  • Most bathroom falls occur by the toilet. Seniors who have trouble sitting and standing are most vulnerable. Installing a raised toilet seat will make it easier for maneuverability and safety. Grab bars are also highly recommended by the toilet seat.
  • A safety light can be a lifesaver. When getting up in the middle of the night, one’s balance, eyesight and cognitive awareness may be compromised. This is a great solution to safely finding your way to the bathroom.

There are no guarantees that falls can be avoided, even with the appropriate safety measures in place. However, the chances of falling and sustaining a serious injury can be greatly reduced when these protective strategies are employed.

Source: NCOA