Bathroom Safety for Seniors
10 Tips from the Experienced Caregivers at Our Assisted Living Facility
Is your bathroom safe for seniors? According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), more than one in three seniors over the age of 65 fall each year and 80 percent of these falls are in the bathroom. Reduced mobility, poor muscle co-ordination and eyesight as well as slippery surfaces are some of the main reasons why.
Health experts at our assisted living facility in Rhode Island have identified some typical challenges seniors face in a bathroom such as:
- Sitting down and getting up from the toilet
- Getting in and out of the bathtub or shower stall
- Standing and taking a shower
- Sliding shower doors that move suddenly
- Wet and slippery floor tiles, bathtubs and shower stalls
- Bathmats that move
- Using towel bars, sink tops and soap holders to support oneself
Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 1.6 million older adults seek emergency care each year for fall-related injuries, fractures or head trauma. Many of these occur in the bathroom and can cause the elderly to lose their independence or worse still, their lives.
Here are 10 important precautions assisted living facilities like Wyndemere Woods take to senior-proof the bathroom. They are simple and easy to implement.
- Install slip-resistant grab bars. They provide a firm support for seniors to hold on to as they enter and exit the shower or the tub.
- Upgrade to a walk-in tub or use a regular stand-up shower. It is easier and safer than having to climb over a threshold. The Holiday has mostly regular tubs, but we also have the option of a walk-in tubs for those who need it.
- Use a non-slip shower chair. These have rubber at the end of the legs to prevent the chair from slipping when the shower or tub floor is wet.
- Install a handheld shower. It is easier to use when sitting down.
- Opt for non-slip mats or rugs. Place them in front of the toilet, the sink and tub/shower to reduce slipping on wet flooring.
- Switch to a raised toilet seat with grab bars. It reduces the amount of squatting (which is difficult for seniors) while the grab bars provide support for seniors as they sit down and get up.
- Ensure that faucets are clearly marked hot and cold. Set the hot water temperature to a maximum of 120°F. This will help prevent scalding and burns. Faucets should also be easy to turn on and off.
- Install bright lights and put switches in easily accessible places. Also consider night lights in the hallway. Many accidents occur when seniors are navigating their way to the washroom at night.
- Make sure toiletries e.g. soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, towel, etc. are within reach. Avoid clutter and take away things that are unnecessary.
- Ensure that a caregiver is around. Some seniors experience dizziness when they get up and may need support. We offer assistance with showers if they ask beforehand.
At Wyndemere Woods Assisted and Independent Living Community in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, your loved ones safety and well-being is a top priority. Our experienced and caring staff is available to assist them with anything they need. Customized care plans combine with a wide range of services and amenities to meet their requirements. We treat them like our own, making them feel safe and secure. You will have peace of mind knowing they are well-cared for here.
Contact Wyndemere Woods Assisted and Independent Living Community at 401-762-4226 for more information or fill our online form to book a tour.