Originally posted on https://www.halohealthcare.com/blog/bathroom-safety-tips/
Did you know that the bathroom is one of the most dangerous parts of the home, second only to the stairs and kitchen?
It shouldn’t be too surprising when you think about it. The floor can be wet and slippery. Anyone could slip and break their head after hitting tiled floors, a sink, or a toilet bowl.
There are so many chances for adults and senior citizens to receive a bad injury.
A study by the CDC shows that 21.8 million estimated cases come from nonfatal bathroom injuries. These injury rates only increase further with age.
When it comes to bathroom safety, you should be extra careful. Here are 9 safety tips that can help reduce bathroom hazards and keep people injury-free.
1. Install Grab Bars and Rails
The top safety tip for bathrooms is to install grab bars. Grab bars are metallic rails helping people secure positions before standing or sitting. If you’re doing aged care, these are crucial quality of life improvements.
The benefits of grab bars are two-fold. First, they can give you or your loved ones something to grip before getting on and off the shower. This helps people with weaker legs to stand for longer and even allow secured movement.
Their second function is to help falling people. If someone loses their balance, they can use grab bars to hold onto them. This can then prevent any excessive or even fatal physical injuries.
2. Replace Your Bathroom Rugs
One of the most common reasons for bathroom safety issues are the bathroom rugs. These scatter rugs are easy to slip on or fall over with, so it’s best to remove them.
As a replacement, use non-slip surfaces on the floor, on the tub or even in the shower. You can also apply non-slip decals on the bathroom tiles. If there’s no way for you to part with your bathroom rugs, it’s best to secure them.
Use double-sided tape to stick the rugs on the floor or even slip-resistant backing. Secure as many of the loose corners as possible to prevent any tripping. This can also reduce the chances of slippage with rollators or walkers.
3. Keep Essentials Within Reach
Keeping essentials at arm’s reach is one of the simplest safety measures for your bathroom. This move not only improves your organization skills but reduces clutter in your bathroom.
Why should you organize and set your essentials nearby?
Moving everything within arm’s reach reduces any foot movement that happens. By keeping everything easy to reach, it allows for fewer chances of trips or falls. Bending down to reach items, together with reaching up, is as dangerous.
Consider the proper placement of all your linens. Washcloths, towels, and toilet paper should be easy to reach. Bath time materials like shampoos, conditioners, and body soaps should be reachable with a caddy.
4. Renovate Your Bathroom
For elders and disabled people, a good way to get a safer bathroom is to renovate. If you have some disposable income you can use, it’s best to improve your home. Bathroom renovations can go a long way to making your bathroom safer.
For example, one of the best safety technologies for your bathroom is the walk-in tub. This bathtub has a small, walk-in door on the side that seals when you close it. This prevents any slips and falls that can come from the excessive movement to the bathtub.
Another great extra to your bathroom renovation is a wall-mounted shower seat. This seat is sturdy and connects straight to your wall, so it’s durable. It can handle the weight of one elderly person while they’re taking a shower.
These types of seats can work to help the elders or disabled have proper seating. This helps prevent bad slips, including the ones that come from soap scum.
5. Keep The Bathroom Clean
Be sure to keep the bathroom and the entire bathroom as clean as possible. You want it as dry as possible, as moisture can create slips. You would want to cut down on soap scum, limescale, and even mildew to reduce slippage.
Keep the bathroom floor dry. To prevent any water in your flooring, use weighted shower curtains. This will reduce any chances for trips and cut down on the water drips to your flooring.
To keep the bathroom clean, make sure to scrub it at least once a week. Remove any fallen hair or materials as soon as possible. Use a tile cleaner or a bathroom cleaner to remove any soap material that can cause slippages.
6. Invest In Sufficient Lighting
For many elders, one of the most common complaints is urination at night. With insufficient light, it discourages them from going to the bathroom. When they decide to go, this creates a potential accident situation if they can’t light the room.
Make sure there’s enough lighting and visibility in the bathroom and corridors. Invest in lighting with higher lumens to make sure the entire bathroom has illumination. Use light switches that are within reasonable reach and keep some corridor lighting on at night.
7. Install Adjustable Showerheads
Adjustable showerheads or even handheld showers are a great choice that can help elderly people. These types of showers are maneuverable, making them great picks. They can reduce movement in the shower and the possibility of slips when you move around.
They’re great to combine with bath seats or benches, preventing extended periods of standing up.
8. Remove or Secure Electrical Appliances
Make sure to move electrical appliances away from sources of water. Put them in reachable places, but high enough that they will not get splotches of water. If you can, find outlets with a switch that you can turn on or off.
If you can’t prevent putting sockets lower, use socket covers that don’t need too much finagling. It needs to provide enough protection without excess locks.
9. Keep The Hot Water In Check
Senior citizens tend to have thinner, more sensitive skin as they age. Because of this, they are more sensitive to changes in temperature. This includes shower water that is too cold or too hot.
Make sure that any hot water sources have the proper labels and will have enough heat. 120F is the max temperature you would want for hot water that can help prevent scalding.
The Key To Bathroom Safety
When it comes to bathroom safety, vigilance is the key to preventing hazards. Organize your bathroom and take a good look at the potential accidents that can happen. Follow our tips and you can make sure that you’ll get the best results that can keep everyone safe.
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