Falling is a very real threat to seniors’ health and safety. Each year, 3 million older adults are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries, according to the CDC. While falls can happen anywhere, your bathroom holds an increased risk. Think about the amount of activity that is required in the smallest room in your house. You are constantly moving over wet and slippery floors, sometimes at night when it is difficult to see a potential obstacle in your path.
There are some ways you can prevent falls in the bathroom. Some are simple steps you can take to make the room safer, like cleaning up water spills immediately, and some require more careful thought such as installing certain showering equipment. Whatever kind of actions you take to make your bathroom more secure could save you from injuries caused by a fall.
Talk to Your Doctors
Unless you are in perfect health, as an older adult you are most likely taking a couple, if not multiple pills each day. Due to side effects such as dizziness or sleepiness, there are some medications that increase your risks of falling. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the side effects of medications you take, and make sure you include over-the-counter drugs and vitamins.
Not only should you talk to your doctor, but your optometrist as well. Visibility, especially for night trips to the bathroom, can be an issue for seniors. Ensure you have the correct prescription and the necessary bi- or trifocals for your glasses. Even if you are up-to-date with your prescription glasses or contacts, plugging in a night light in your bathroom or the hallway can be beneficial
Install Safety Equipment
Getting in and out of the shower can sometimes be hazardous due to the amount of movement required. Installing grab bars gives you something to steady yourself when moving in and out of the tub or getting on and off the toilet. They also provide purchase if you find yourself beginning to fall.
Another major cause of falls in the bathroom is slippery surfaces. You can install non-slip surfaces to the floor of your shower or tub to reduce the risk of falling. And while rugs and bath mats can be comfortable, they can be easy to slip on or trip over. Instead, apply non-slip decals to your bathroom tile.
Know Your Limits
Many falls in the bathroom are due, in part, to overexertion. Place items like shampoo, conditioner, soap, towels, and other frequently-used items within an arm’s reach so that you reduce the amount of movement you need to make. Depending on your physical health, you may want to consider installing a secure bathing seat so that you don’t need to stand for the duration of your shower. To the same point, you may also think about installing a walk-in shower or walk-in bathtub so that there is no need to lift your legs over the edge of the tub, which can increase the chances of a fall occurring.
In the Event of an Emergency
Even if you can take all the appropriate precautionary measures, you may still find yourself in the scary situation of falling in the bathroom. Having alert buttons or a wearable emergency pendant like those offered from ASI’s Thrive, can send emergency services to you and potentially save your life. What is even more beneficial about ASI’s Thrive is that if you can’t get access to your pendant, ASI Thrive’s innovative sensors can send an alert if abnormalities are detected.
Don’t let your health and safety be compromised by something as simple as a puddle of water on your bathroom tile.
Request your free ASI Thrive quote and consultation today!