Bath and Shower Safety for Seniors

Too often bathroom safety is not seriously considered in homes where aging adults live. Many of the younger family members may not realize its importance due to the fact that they aren’t as negatively affected by a fall in the bathroom. Many of these families don’t’ realize the implications of a fall until its too late.

This is the reality that senior citizens live with on a day to day basis. The typical shower or bath can become a dangerous place for them as they may have weakened strength or may slip easily due to balance issues. Though there is no substitution for caution, there are ways to help make bathing safer.

Senior Fall Prevention

The CDC has reported that for seniors who are 65 and older, falls are the leading cause of injury related deaths. So, even though, falling may not be something that should be taken that seriously, these facts show otherwise.

Based on the reports from the CDC men are at much greater risk of dying as the results of falls than women are. They are 49% more likely. This may be due to gender roles in the household.Since many of our older relatives carry on older traditions in which men are expected to take on more dangerous tasks around the house (standing on ladders, changing light bulbs, reaching for items that are far out of reach, etc.), they often put themselves in a position to cause more damage. Though falling down while standing can still cause serious injuries like broken bones and traumatic brain injuries, the risk of fatality is increased with falls that require the individual to stand on a higher elevation.

On of the first and most important steps in preventing fall is education. But, with that being said, sometimes education isn’t enough. For seniors with low vision issues, it may be hard to spot standing water in places like the kitchen for bathroom. Outside of the troubles seniors face with falling due to standing puddles of water, they may also have problems getting out of the bathtub or shower. One way an issue like this can be remedied is by installing a walk in shower, which requires a remodeling of sorts.

Is Bathroom Remodeling Necessary?

Though it is easy to be concerned that doing some bathroom shower remodeling is an unnecessary expense, it may end up costing more by doing nothing at all. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued another report that showed the average cost of healthcare related to a fall was in the range of $19,000. This estimate considered cost factors of hospital visits, home care , ER visits and nursing homes. But, any additional doctors services costs were not considered.

One way to help make the home a safer place is to remove slippery surfaces. Rugs may seem like a good idea, but if they do not have a non-slip backing, or aren’t taped down securely, they can actually increase the risk of falling. Non-slip handles are also essential. Placing them around the bathtub and toilet can assist elders in standing up and moving more easily. It also helps to have a non-slip chair in the shower for adults who have problems standing for prolonged periods of time.

As they age, they may notice problems with standing up from being seated, this is where they may benefit from some type of exercise regimen. Whether its physical therapy, going to the gym or taking a Tai Chi class, regular exercise is always a good idea.

As this article has stated, falling is a major risks to older adults, but concerned family members can take action. Try improving lighting in the home and hallways, removing trip hazards like cords and rugs, consider installing safety railing as well.

At Connecticut Live-Ins we understand that everyone’s in-home care needs are unique; which is why we offer a wide variety of Home Health Care services in Greenwich and senior care specialists to assist you. Our Client Coordinator will meet with you to discuss your senior home care requirements and goals, so we can custom tailor a program that best addresses your personal situation and matches you or your family with the proper in-home caregiver.


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