Preventing Falls in the Bathroom According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one third of all Americans aged 65 and over fall each year. Falls affect senior’s safety, independence, and economic well-being in addition to their emotional health. The National Institute on Aging has stated that 80 percent of senior individual’s falls occur in the bathroom. The smooth, hard surfaces along with water and electricity are all components found in the bathroom that can contribute to an accidental fall. There are many devices which will make the bathroom a safer place.
For the toilet area: 1. A Raised Toilet Seat, either with or without arms can be helpful, allowing individuals with arthritis or joint pain or less flexibility or strength to sit and stand from a higher position. They are available to fit either elongated or standard shaped toilet seats. The models with arms add further in stable rising from a seated position or getting into a seated position. Raised Toilet Seats come in a variety of heights from two inches to six inches high. Choose one with an appropriate weight capacity for the individual using it. Make certain the toilet seat is attached correctly according to the manufacturer’s instructions for the safest use.
2. A Toilet Safety Rails or Frame fits around the toilet and provides arms to help the individual get up or down from the toilet safely. Some have added features like a place to hold magazines or other reading material.
For the Bath area: 1. Use of a Bath Mat will eliminate the risk of falling on a wet and slippery surface either inside or outside the tub or shower stall.
2. A Hand Held Shower Spray will make it easier to clean without a lot of movement.
3. Grab Bars offer safety for movement in slippery places. They can be permanently mounted with screws into the wall or be attached with suction. Tub Rails offer something to grab when exiting or entering the bathtub.
4. Shower Chairs, Stools and Seats help avoid falls while in the shower. They are also good to use with an attendant. There is quite a variety from shower chairs that can be rolled into a shower stall to seats with or without arms and backs to stools with tops can rotate or not.
5. Transfer Benches help moving the individual safely into the bath tub or shower. Transfer Benches also come in a sliding version which aids in the movement.
6. Bath Lifts make getting in and out of the bathtub safer. The user sits it it and is lowered into the bathwater and when bath is complete, will be lifted up in the Bath Lift to make exiting the bath easier.
7. There are a variety of bath and shower chairs designed to aid children with special needs be safely bathed and showered, including the Drive Otter and Dolphin Bathing Systems.
These are all important aid which help us and the people we care for stay healthy.