January is National Bath Safety Month, a time dedicated to preventing slips and falls in the bathroom. According to research by the CDC, people between the ages of 75 and 85 are twice as likely as the average person to suffer a nonfatal injury in the bathroom. These statistics make the bathroom one of the most dangerous places in the home for older adults.
10 Bathroom Safety Tips for Seniors:
Install grab bars inside and outside your tub or shower. This can help to reduce the chances of a slip and/or fall when entering or exiting the bath. It's also recommended to install grab bars near the toilet to help with leverage and balance.
#2 CREATE A NON-SLIP SURFACE
In addition to the installation of grab bars, a quick and easy way to improve bathroom safety is by installing non-slip surfaces on the floor of your tub or shower. Non-slip decals can also be applied directly to bathroom tile. These non-slip strips can be found in many different home and department stores.
#3 REMOVE OBSTACLES
#4 REDUCE OVER-EXERTION
Keep the bathing experience a relaxing one. Install a shower seat and take frequent breaks if needed.
#5 KEEP THE FLOOR DRY
This is one of the simplest and most important things you can do. Make sure the floor stays dry by having multiple non-slip mats on the bathroom floor.
#6 IMPROVE VISIBILITY
Lighting is another easy and affordable improvement you can make to the bathroom. Increasing lighting in the bathroom, and rooms leading up to the bathroom, makes it easier to see any hazards. This is particularly important for older adults with vision problems or balance issues.
#7 RAISE THE SEAT
Toilet seat risers help to prevent unnecessary exertion and falling when using the restroom. Remember, it's also helpful to install grab bars near the toilet area.
#8 AVOID THROW RUGS
Avoid trips and falls by removing any throw rugs from the bathroom. Be sure any bath mats or rugs you do use, have extra secure grips on the bottom.
#9 USE HAND-HELD SHOWER HANDLE
Replace the standard shower head with a hand-held shower handle. This will help to improve bathroom safety by not having to reach to adjust the shower head.
#10 TAKE YOUR TIME
Save both time and money with this last tip. Don't rush through a bath or shower! Slow down and prevent any uncessary injuries caused from rushing around.