The bathroom is the most dangerous room in the house. According to the Centers for Disease Control, every year more than 235,000 people are admitted to emergency rooms as a result of bathroom injuries. More than a third of those injuries are related to bathing or showering while about 33,000 occur while using the toilet. And it’s a fact of life that the older we get the more likely we are to suffer bathroom-related injuries. But if your loved ones are reaching their golden years, you can take simple steps to ensure their bathroom safety.
- Install Grab Bars: Entering or leaving the slippery bathtub or shower can be difficult for seniors who often grab onto towel bars or other tub features to steady themselves. These items are not built to support their weight and may pull out of the wall. Grab bars are an inexpensive way to prevent dangerous slips and falls. They should be installed inside the tub enclosure and next to the toilet.
- Use Bathmats: Most people use non-skid bathmats inside their tubs or showers but they can also be placed on the bathroom floor in front of tubs and toilets. Mats provide seniors with traction wherever they are in the bathroom.
- Lower the Reach: Seniors can lose their balance when stretching to grab soap or shampoo. Place these items within easy reach to prevent falls.
- Get a Raised Toilet Seat: Getting on and off the toilet can lead to injuries due to the low position of the seat. Raised toilet seats make sitting and standing up easier and safer.
- Use Nightlights: Sleepily walking into a dim bathroom at night can be dangerous. A simple nightlight creates a guiding light to the bathroom and reduces slips, trips, and falls in the dark.