Most slip and fall accidents that occur in the home happen in the bathroom. So many slick, hard surfaces combined with the presence of moisture make for hazardous conditions. Therefore, when securing the home of an elder relative or loved one, special attention must be paid to the bathroom. There are also many bathroom aids for the elderly.
Start with the floor. Remove all clutter such as plants, hampers and trash baskets that might make it difficult for seniors to navigate this sometimes small and restricted area. This includes rugs, since even those with non-slip backing can present an obstacle for seniors. If you have linoleum flooring, consider replacing it with wall-to-wall carpeting or textured tile.
Elderly bathroom aids include installing grab bars strategically throughout the room, on the outside and inside of tub or shower enclosures as well as near the toilet to help provide stability and security. There are a number of more aesthetically pleasing alternatives to the traditional aluminum finish currently available, so you don’t have to sacrifice appearance in favor of safety.
Next, for bathtub slip prevention, consider replacing the tub with a handicapped-accessible walk-in shower or tub. If this isn’t possible, a good alternative is a transfer bench that straddles the edge of the tub and makes getting in and out of the shower much easier for mobility-challenged individuals. Whatever solution you choose, be sure to place a self-adhesive non-slip mat on the inside of the tub to provide more sure footing. Non slip bath mats for elderly individuals can really help to prevent falls in the bathtub.
Finally, since many seniors have trouble getting on and off the commode, consider purchasing a toilet safety frame. These frames fit over the toilet and have armrests that allow the user to lower and raise themselves easily. Another convenient and inexpensive option is a toilet riser. This is a simple seat that fits over the existing toilet seat, making it several inches taller.
We hope you’ve found this week’s slip and fall prevention series helpful and informative.
If you have already made your bathroom safe, please tell us how in the comments below. We would love to hear from you!