If you have senior parents/grandparents at home, you must ensure their bathroom is safe for them, especially at night. Due to urine incontinence, medication side effects, and insomnia, seniors are more likely to use the bathroom at night. However, walking in the dark half-awake or their poor muscle strength or physical decline from aging/existing health conditions can lead to slips and falls.
According to the CDC, bathrooms are the most hazardous location in the home, causing approximately 234,094 non-fatal injuries. Another study reveals that people aged 65 years or older suffer 79% of bathroom slips and falls, and 33% of elders require hospitalization caused by a bathroom injury.
Though these statistics are alarming, with simple changes, you can make your bathroom safe and fall-free for your aging loved ones. Read on to find out.
Whether bathrooms are spacious or confined, they have some hazardous features to cause injuries, including:
Those elements can turn out to be dangerous for seniors with reduced vision, imbalance issues, tremors, and drowsiness. While some of these issues are fixed with minor improvements, like adding seating, rearranging shelves, and increasing light levels, others may require a complete renovation. Whether the improvements are minor or major, they can be worth your money, as they minimize the risk of injuries for the elderly.
The following tips will help keep your bathroom safe, preventing your seniors from falling:
When it comes to making your bathroom floors resistant to slips and falls, you might be thinking of adding carpets or rugs, but remember, they may cause tripping injuries. So, it is better to install non-slip floors to reduce accidents. However, if you are using rugs/carpets, ensure they are slip-resistant.
Keeping your bathroom water-free or bath mats dried is something close to impossible. That’s why it is crucial to install railing in and around your bathroom, including on the way to the toilet, shower, and bathtub. These grab bars will help seniors to rely on them to not fall while sitting on, standing up, and turning around in the bathroom.
Keeping the bath items, such as soaps, shampoos, bath brushes, etc., within arm’s reach will help your senior parents grab them easily without having to bend down much, thus reducing the risk of falls or sprain/strain injuries.
Sitting down or standing up from the toilet often causes slips and falls. So, along with having a grab bar, ensure to have a raised toilet seat. As you can find toilet seats that are designed to comply with your toilet sizes, you don’t need to install a new toilet. Besides, depending on your seniors’ specific needs, you can choose toilet seats with a basic height, sturdy frame, variable height adjustments, or lock feature.
If your aged loved ones have balance problems from health conditions, such as Parkinson’s or myositis, installing a shower or bath chair is a way to help them bathe comfortably and safely. These chairs prevent falls and slips by providing a secure area in a slippery shower or bathtub. They come with various features to accommodate your needs, including wider seats, safety belts, backrests, footrests, and armrests.
Falls are more likely to happen at night. Moreover, vision problems among older adults, such as cataracts, glaucoma, etc., won’t help them to see clearly and properly. So, make sure your bathroom and the walkway leading to the bathroom have adequate lighting to make navigating bathrooms easier for seniors. Install nightlights and keep them on after it turns darker to keep the path illuminated. You can also install motion-sensing night lights that automatically turn on when someone enters the bathroom.
An in-home caregiver can help your seniors in all their daily activities of living, whether it is bathing, using the toilet, grooming, or dressing. So, hiring them is a great alternative when it is not possible for you to always be present to look after them. Along with taking good care of your aged parents, the caregiver can also provide non-medical assistance and perform household chores like meal preparation, laundry errands, etc.
At Home Care Partner, we have professional and dedicated caregivers to help your senior loved ones with various tasks to enhance their quality of life and well-being. Whether you need short-term care or 24-hour care with constant supervision, we are more than happy to create a customized home care plan for your elderly loved ones. Contact us today to get care at your doorstep.
Home Care Partner wants you to be confident in choosing us. We want to show that our care is unmatched!