January is National Bath Safety Month and it’s a wonderful time at the beginning of the year to focus on improving things for an elderly person, whether they’re living alone or not. There are plenty of steps people can take that will improve safety for seniors and others at home, and while it’s easy to overlook these issues as a younger, stronger, healthier individual, one little slip can change everything in the course of a senior’s life.
Here are three steps that are relatively simple to take that can improve bathroom safety for an elderly person in your family.
First, install grab bars.
These might look like traditional towel bars from a distance, but they are completely different. Where a towel bar is basically anchored into the ceramic tile or vinyl surface of a shower surround or tub with small screws, grab bars are anchored into the wall studs behind the wall board. They are anchored with much thicker, longer anchor screws and can hold up the weight of a full grown adult in the event they slip.
Installing grab bars wrong can cause them to rip out of the wall just like a towel bar, and that could potentially lead to even more significant injuries than if the senior simply fell down straight.
Second, place nonslip mats around the room.
Nonslip mats are ideal for the tub or shower surround, outside the tub, around the sink, and possibly around the toilet as well. Most bathrooms have either linoleum or ceramic tile floor surfaces that can become extremely slick when wet.
It’s also a good idea when purchasing these nonslip mats to get a couple for the kitchen around the sink. Any slip for somebody in their 60s, 70s, 80s, or 90s could lead to a devastating fall and trying to limit the prospect of slipping should be a priority.
Third, install a shower seat.
This requires practically no skill aside from perhaps putting the shower seat together out of the box. It is basically a plastic seat with a metal frame that will sit comfortably within a tub or shower surround. The elderly person can sit down, as long as they have a detachable showerhead, and bathe without their legs becoming fatigued in the process.
Doing all of these things can immediately improve safety for seniors at home, thus reducing the risk of falling and being injured. A person of advancing years who slips and falls and is injured will face a lengthy recovery process and an increasing risk of greater harm as a result.
If you or an aging loved one are considering assisted living in Spanish Fort, AL, contact Ashbury Manor Specialty Care and Assisted Living at 251-317-3017.
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- Three Steps to Take Right Now To Improve Bathroom Safety for a Senior in Your Life - January 8, 2019
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