According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four Americans over the age of 65 fall every year. Falls are a huge hazard for seniors, and a leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries in older Americans. Even the fear of falling can have an impact on the quality of life of seniors, causing them to forego activities and experiences they would normally enjoy, which in turn affects their mental health.
Many of these falls occur in the bathroom as a result of slippery floors and a lack of something to hold onto for support, as well as the natural decline in strength and agility that comes with age. Fortunately, there are some simple improvements that can be made in the bathroom to help increase the safety of seniors and those with limited mobility.
Toilet Safety Rails
The toilet is one area where extra support is essential. Toilet safety frame rails are attached directly to the toilet, between the back of the toilet and the seat, or can come in the form of a free-standing frame that can be positioned around the toilet. Others can be attached to the wall. Whichever type you choose, it will greatly enhance senior safety and provide an aid for lowering the individual down and back up again.
Shower Transfer Bench
While a regular shower bench can give you a break from standing while taking a shower, a shower transfer bench has additional features that allow seniors to maintain comfort and balance while enhancing safety. These can include a safety bar, adjustable backrest, armrest, sliding seat, skid-proof or suctioned feet, and adjustable legs for varying the height. For a little more security, it may also be a good idea to add a grab bar installation in the shower and near the bathtub.
Non-Slip Bath & Shower Mats
Bathroom floors and the bottom of tubs and showers can be very slippery, which is why bathroom accidents in large part occur as seniors are trying to get into or out of the bath or shower. Laying down non-slip bath mats in the areas that are most prone to wetness is an easy and inexpensive way to combat this issue and prevent possible injuries. Place non-slip mats in front of the sink, toilet and the shower and/or tub, as well as at the entrance of the bathroom. If you plan to fully renovate your bathroom, consider investing in slip-resistant tiles for your floor and bathing areas to further increase safety.
Need a Handyman?
If you need help with grab bar installation or other home improvements that will help you or a senior loved one in your home be a little safer and more independent, don’t hesitate to call Handyman Connection at 1-800-88-HANDY.