Anyone is at risk of falling in the bathroom, but a CDC study found incidents were much higher among seniors. Most of these falls occur in or near the shower and near the toilet. How safe is your parent’s bathroom?
There are five devices designed to keep your mom or dad safe in the bathroom.
1. An anti-slip bath mat is essential for your parent’s tub or shower stall floor. The mats are designed to cling to the floor and prevent slips. Most bath mats are anti-bacterial and machine washable, so you can easily keep them clean of mold and odor-causing bacteria. Look for a bath mat that fits most, if not all, of the floor space in the tub or shower.
2. Grab bars should be bolted to the wall behind and to the side of the toilet. There should also be a grab bar outside the tub/shower and inside. As your parent gets up from the toilet or out of the shower/tub, these bars offer support. Some grab bars even have built-in shelving or towel bars to add extra storage in tight spaces.
3. The position of the bathroom door may prove to be a problem, too. If the door swings inward and your parent falls and blocks the door, you or an elderly care professional will struggle to get to your loved one. Make sure you can either access the hinges to completely remove the door or, better, install a pocket door that slides rather than swings open.
4. A shower chair with non-slip feet is important to have in your mom or dad’s bathroom. The shower chair is useful when medications cause drowsiness or dizziness. It’s also helpful when pain from conditions like arthritis make it hard to stand for an extended period of time. If your mom still shaves her legs, a shower chair is going to help her avoid falling by eliminating the need to bend over.
5. Put in a telephone with an intercom feature or sign your mom or dad up for a medic alert system. Make sure there’s a call button or phone unit in the bathroom at all times. If your parent does fall, they can press a button to get a caregiver’s attention.
If your mom or dad is prone to falling in the bathroom, call an elderly care agency. Hire a caregiver to be available during morning showers. Elderly care professionals also prove helpful at making sure your parent takes medications, eats meals, and gets to appointments on time.
If you or someone you know needs elderly care in Rye, NH, contact the staff at Atlantic Homelife Senior Care. We provide quality and affordable home care for many disabled and elderly loved ones in our community. Call us at 603-343-4434 for more information.