Whenever I turn on the television anymore, I am inundated with commercials about updating the bathroom. They promote changing an outdated tub to a low, step-in shower, and their overall renovations are pretty stunning, if I do say so myself.
As I pondered the idea of bathroom renovations, I began thinking of bath safety for seniors and the benefits of secure grab bars, a step-in shower, and in-shower benches. Granted, many seniors are unable to afford an upgrade to their bathrooms, but there are products and protocols that promote bathroom safety for seniors, and what better time to discuss these than Bath Safety Month!
Products that Promote Senior Safety in the Bathroom
Daily Caring has listed these products that can help keep the bathroom a safe space for seniors and the elderly:
- LED Night Light –These have sensors so they illuminate only when lighting is low or the room is dark. This is most handy during the night when trips to the bathroom can become fall risks.
- Bathroom Grab Bars – Grab bars in the bathroom are essential for stability to prevent slips and falls getting in and out of the bath and shower or sitting on/standing from the commode. Be careful though! Suction cup styles are not made to support total body weight. The ideal type should be securely wall-mounted to support a person’s body weight. A bathtub grab bar securely locks to the side of the bathtub without tools, and includes rubber pads to prevent damage to the tub surface. This handy grab bar helps seniors safely step in and out of a bathtub.
- 3M Scotch Gripping Tape – This is a strong, thin tape that is applied to grab bars to add another layer of protection from slips and falls, because the tape adds gripping power for seniors with limited grip-strength, wet or oily hands.
- Hand-Held Shower Head – These are easy to install and a measure of control for seniors who sit on a shower bench or stand in the shower.
- Toilet Safety Frame & Raised Toilet Seat with Arms – These device are adjustable to suit toilet dimensions and a person’s height. They add a measure of stability to guide and support seniors when toileting, and a raised toilet seat with arms helps seniors sit and stand more comfortably.
- Tub Grip Clear Anti-Slip Bathtub & Shower Coating – This product is highly effective at preventing slips and falls in the bathtub or shower. It is a clear coating that you roll on the surface floor, so no need for adhesive appliqués that will mildew over time.
- Heavy Duty Sliding Transfer Shower Bench – This product has the capacity to handle up to 400 pounds, but is easy to use by seniors who are more frail. The sliding transfer bench makes it easy to move into the tub or shower, and includes an opening for washing private areas more effectively while seated.
- Floor to Ceiling Pole Grab Bar – This is a great solution when securely mounting grab bars is not an option. The floor to ceiling grab bar is easy to install without tools, and it is not permanent, so it can be moved where it is most needed.
Protocols to Help Keep Seniors Safe in the Bathroom
Intrepid USA, an in-home healthcare and hospice agency, reports that as many as 235,000 people visit emergency rooms each year due to injuries sustained in bathroom accidents.
“Slick floors, hard surfaces, and sharp countertop corners make bathrooms a dangerous and unforgiving place for seniors to experience a fall,” the article states.
With this in mind, Intrepid has shared additional tips and protocols to help prevent seniors from experiencing injurious accidents in the bathroom:
- Reduce Clutter – Considering bathrooms are typically the smallest rooms in a home, it is wise to keep the floor clear of clothing and towels that can cause a fall, and keep countertops and vanity tops clear of items by storing them in closets, cabinets or drawers that can be easily accessed.
- Keep Necessities Handy – In as much as we want to keep counters and vanities clutter-free, it is important to keep frequently used items stored where seniors can get to them with little effort. In a shower or tub, place body wash, soap, shampoo and conditioner in a shower caddy or use handy dispensers for these items to eliminate potential slips and falls when entering and exiting the tub or shower.
- Invest in Items Listed Above for Senior Bath Safety – Raised toilet seats, clear non-slip tub and shower coating, shower benches and transfer chairs are all recommended for seniors at risk of sustaining an injury in their bathroom, making them a wise investment for the safety of your special senior someone.
- Consider Hiring an In-Home Caregiver – A compassionate caregiver provides professional support with the personal care and safety of seniors 24/7/365.
At Home Helpers® Clearwater, we are more than an in-home healthcare service. We are your extended family when family can’t be there. Our professional caregivers are highly-trained, experienced and compassionate when helping seniors in a variety of ways. I offer a FREE Consultation to assess specific needs, which helps me create a customized care plan that will make life easier and safer for you or your senior loved one.
We, at Home Helpers® Clearwater, are honored to have received the Home Care Pulse – Best of Home Care® Provider of Choice Award for the fifth consecutive year: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 & 2021. We proudly serve male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. Home Helpers®…we are Making Life Easier℠ 727.942.2539