The bathroom can be a dangerous place for seniors, especially if your loved one is experiencing a condition that makes him/her prone to tumbling and falls. Just as it is with the kitchen, bathrooms also have slippery surfaces as well as sharp objects that can injure seniors in many ways. A recent study by the United States National Institutes of Health revealed that more than 80% of falls in a home take place in the bathroom. Therefore, it is very important to keep the bathroom safe for your seniors and the risk is even greatly reduced when your loved on is living in an assisted living scenario.
Note that many of the reported injuries that seniors sustained in the bathroom did not happen because they failed to grab the bars in the shower. In fact, there are many other factors, which can lead to accidents in bathrooms and result in serious injuries. Below is a quick look at some of the areas that you must pay attention to in order to keep your seniors away from bathroom hazards.
Technically, bath mats and rugs are meant to prevent falls due to wet floors. However, the mat or rug can turn out to be a tripping hazard itself if it moves or twirls when stepped on. The simplest way to avoid that is to install anti-slip decals on the floor as well as on the surface of the shower and tub.
Seniors with specific conditions might need to go to the restroom often during the nighttime. This can increase the risk of slipping and falling in the bathroom if the elderly is not fully awake at that time or if he/she forgets to switch on the lights. Installing night-lights in the bathroom can easily prevent such accidents.
Seniors experiencing problems with moving around might need to use a bath stool in the tub or shower. If so, they would also need a showerhead that is placed at an easily accessible height. You can make things simpler here by installing an adjustable showerhead that can be used without too much turning or bending.
Seniors have very sensitive skin, which cannot handle water temperature that is either too hot or too cold. Sometimes, the elderly cannot sense the temperature on their own as well, which can put them at a higher risk of injuring themselves. A wiser solution here would be to install a smart water heater thermostat, which would cut down the power once the water temperature reaches a preset safe point for the seniors.