9 Tips on How to Prevent Falls in the Bathroom
Because the bathroom can be a treacherous place, it’s important to know how to prevent falls in the bathroom. The key is to minimize contact with water and wet surfaces, provide additional stopping points, and make bathing/showering and toileting safer.
Read this week’s blog post to find out 9 Tips on How to Prevent Falls in the Bathroom.
Anyone who has spent time in a bathroom knows how slippery it can be. Whether you’re stepping out of the shower or into the bathtub, a fall is nothing out of the ordinary, but it can happen very quickly. Unfortunately, even minor falls can have devastating consequences for people over the age of 65.
As we age, falls become more dangerous. This is because bones become more brittle, which in turn can cause even minor falls to result in serious injury. Over 800,000 patients are hospitalized in the U.S. each year due to a fall injury.
When you suffer a fall, it increases the likelihood that you will fall again. Bathrooms have dangerous conditions that can make it difficult to protect yourself from falls.
However, there are many things you can do to prevent and minimize falls in the bathroom. This article describes some of the most important things you can do.
9 Tips to effectively prevent falls in the bathroom
1 Deal with slippery surfaces
First of all, you should take care of the slippery surfaces which can be dangerous in the bathroom. If you have a tiled floor, it is advisable to lay out non-slip floor mats. With non-slip bath mats, you can reduce the risk of accidental falls while walking in the bathroom.
These mats typically have suction cups on the bottom that hold them in place. This way, when you step on the carpet or mat, it won’t move, which could cause you to lose your balance.
2 Make your bathtub less slippery
Besides adding non-slip mats for your bathroom floor, you should also add a non-slip shower mat. These mats work in the same way. Without a non-slip shower mat, you will find it very difficult to prevent falls from accidental slips.
The simple task of getting in and out of the shower can make it very difficult to prevent accidental falls. This is typically one of the things that gets people into trouble, because it can be difficult for an elderly person to keep their balance while standing on one leg.
Adding a mat to the tub can help increase friction and keep you upright.
3 Purchase a shower chair
A shower chair is an investment that every elderly person should make. It can be a fantastic addition if you want to prevent falls in the bathroom because it limits the amount of time you have to stand and balance upright.
A shower chair is designed for people with balance difficulties. This can drastically increase your chances of preventing a fall in the bathroom.
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4 Install grab bars
Another effective way to prevent falls in the bathroom is to install grab bars. These bars should make it much easier to move in and around the shower. Grab bars give you the ability to hold onto something while moving around an otherwise slippery surface. Grab bars can be lifesavers for anyone who has trouble with balance, as they give you more leverage to keep you upright.
These bars should be attached and positioned to help you get in and out of the shower or bathtub. They should also have a texture or rubberized grips. This way, the grab bar can be grasped quickly without the risk of slipping.
5 Keep your medicine cabinet in a good place
One problem that some people have in their bathroom is that things are not kept in easily accessible places. Your medicine cabinet or the place where you keep all your daily necessities should be very easy to reach. You should not have to squat or bend down to reach anything. You should also not have to stand on your tiptoes.
Instead, you should keep everything at arm’s length and chest height. This way, you can reach for anything you need without losing your balance.
6 Make your toilet more accessible
Another big problem that many people have with their bathroom is a toilet that is difficult to access. Even the simple task of bending over to use a regular toilet can become difficult as you get older.
For this reason, you should make sure that the toilet is easier to reach and use. For one, the toilet should be positioned higher. Older people will find it much harder to squat on a standard-sized toilet. They will also have even more difficulty standing up, which requires a lot of lower body strength.
Instead, place the toilet in an elevated position to relieve pressure on the lower back when sitting down and the legs when standing up. To improve accessibility, grab bars can be placed around the toilet so that the elderly person can use the bars as levers when sitting down and standing up.
7 Purchase of a hand shower
A great investment for the shower for someone who is older is a handheld shower head. These shower heads are versatile. They can be used as a standard shower head and they can be detached and used as a hand held alternative.
For any senior, this can be a real lifesaver because you can use this type of shower head while sitting down. So if you have a shower seat, you can wash thoroughly without having to stand up and keep your balance during the shower. This can minimize the chances of you ending up slipping, falling or losing your balance.
If you are purchasing a handheld shower head for an elderly person, the shower head should be positioned lower for easier access when needed.
8 Light the room
One thing that could cause a spill would be inadequate lighting. This is an easy problem to avoid. After all, you can install better lights that can eliminate the problem.
You may even want to install lighting around the floor to illuminate the floor itself. You can left this on all the time to keep the floor visible at night without disturbing your sleep.
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9 Keep it clutter free
Another important thing you should do to minimize the risk of falls in the bathroom would be to keep things organized.
Do your best to keep the bathroom as clutter free as possible. The more things that are in the bathroom, the more likely it is that something will end up on the floor for you to trip over.
By reducing the amount of things and obstacles in the bathroom, you can reduce the likelihood of tripping over something.
Summary and final recommendations: How to prevent falls in the bathroom
As an older person, you need to be aware of the consequences that a fall can bring. While you shouldn’t let it stop you from moving freely and being active, you should be aware of some things you should do to prevent them.
Whether you’re looking for tips for yourself or you’re a caregiver looking to increase the safety of your clients, there are several things you can do to minimize falls in the bathroom.
By applying the tips above, you can make it much easier and safer for someone with limited mobility or balance to move around the bathroom. A fall in the bathroom can be devastating for an elderly person, and many falls can be easily prevented with the right preparations.
If something does happen, call your doctor or 911.
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We hope you enjoyed our blog post about 9 tips to prevent falls in the bathroom. Please contact us anytime if you have any questions or comments.