Even though you may consider your bathroom to be a safe place where you are able to relax and unwind with a soothing bath or invigorating shower following a challenging day, for seniors, the bathroom is probably the most dangerous room in the house. With slippery floors which can be even slipperier when damp, closed-in spaces, and hard, unforgiving surfaces, falls are alarmingly common, and sometimes end in significant injury. This is why bathing safety for seniors is so important.
At Home With You Senior Care, we are always happy to perform a safety assessment of the home and suggest modifications to lessen the chance of falls, and because January is National Bath Safety Month, it is the perfect time to share some tips on bathing safety for seniors that you can take today to help ensure bathing safety for seniors:
On the Floor
When you first step into the bathroom, look over bathmats and any other rugs to make certain that they’re properly secured to the floor, with no loose edges to cause tripping hazards. Make sure the floor is always clean and dry, and never wax bathroom floors.
In the Sink
Install ADA-compliant faucets, which feature both easy-to-turn handles and an adjustable hot water safety stop in order to avoid burns.
Around the Toilet
Remove and replace standard toilets with ADA-approved versions, which are elevated and safer for older adults; or, install an elevated seat onto current toilets. Keep a medical alert button close to the bathroom, allowing a senior loved one to easily call for help when necessary, together with a firmly installed grab bar.
In the Bathtub and Shower
As a general rule, showers or walk-in bathtubs are less dangerous for older adults than standard tubs. Make sure the shower features securely installed grab bars (strong enough to support the weight of an adult), as well as a shower chair and handheld shower wand. A water-proof medical alert button should be worn in the shower all of the time.
Put commonly-used items, such as soap, shampoo, towels, washcloths, comb/brush, toothbrush, etc., in easy-to-reach locations, off the floor to make certain nothing poses a fall risk. Utilizing contrasting colors on the floor, walls, and vanity/storage spaces enhances safety as well.
And, probably the best tip we are able to offer would be to engage the services of Home With You Senior Care! Our fully trained and knowledgeable caregivers are readily available to ensure personal care needs, including bathing, showering, utilizing the toilet, and hair/oral care, are met with the utmost attention to dignity and independence, while making sure that older adults remain secure and safe.
To learn more about our top-rated companion care in Baltimore, reach out to us any time at 410-756-0959 for a free-of-charge in-home consultation, and to learn more ways we are making life better for seniors, on a daily basis, right in the comfort of home!