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Your house should be the place where you feel most comfortable. Aside from having an abode in which to relax after hustling throughout the day, your house should also provide you with protection and safety no matter what room you are in.
The bathroom is considered as one of the most dangerous rooms in the house. This is especially true for young children and the elderly.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2.8 million older adults are rushed to emergency departments every year due to fall-related injuries.
Incorporating bathroom safety techniques and equipment into your household can save your family a lot of pain and medical cost.
Additionally, the elderly also have more tendency to trip or slip inadvertently, considering that aging disrupts the body’s balance and mobility. The same goes for persons with disabilities.
Make the bathroom a safe place for personal care by learning about the needed senior-friendly modifications, from lighting to the toilet to storage.
In a 2013 study, it was noted that 73.8% of cases treated in emergency departments of some hospitals were due to falls. Of these, 69.5 per 100,000 cases were due to falls that occurred inside the bathroom.
The bathroom danger zones you need to be wary of are the toilet, bathtub, shower, and flooring around these areas. It was also found that elderly patients who suffer direct head trauma from a bathtub or a shower injury are at increased risk of suffering from an intracranial hemorrhage.
Given the high numbers of people needing immediate medical attention due to bathroom accidents, it’s only right that bathroom safety is routine practice in your home.
So what do you need to do in order to keep yourself safe while inside the bathroom?
(See also: 6 Must-Try Bathroom Remodeling Tips)
Safety Precautions in the Bathroom
If you have a mobility problem or if you have an elderly person living with you in the house, a portable toilet (bedside commode) is a convenient tool to make a bathroom routine easier.
A bedside commode promotes the independence of elderly individuals allowing them to more safely relieve themselves without having to scramble to a bathroom across the room or down the hall.
As the bathtub and shower are two of the most dangerous spot in the bathroom, a good way to protect against slips and falls is to place a non-slip mat with suctions on the shower floor and on the bottom of the bathtub.
You may also choose to use silicone appliqués that you can attach to the bottom of the bathtub, making sure the suction cups underneath are doing their job.
Since the mat or silicone appliqués are immovable, these will give you a firm footing while taking a bath or shower.
Grab bars provide stability and support in the bathroom. As much as possible, choose stainless steel bars that are durable and sturdy especially if there’s a person with mobility restrictions who will be using the bars, too, making sure to install these as per the instructions provided by the manufacturer. As an alternative, you can also use suction grab bars that are easier to install.
Before you go ahead and buy the bars, make sure to measure the wall space around the tub and determine how good the wall structure is.
These will help you choose the right type of bars. You’ll also have an idea of how many bars you’ll need and where you’ll be placing them.
Install grab bars on the walls near the toilet, the shower, and the bathtub. This will make it easier for you and everyone else who’s using the bathroom to support one’s self.
Some manufacturers make bathtubs with built-in tub seats, which is a wonderful safety feature in the bathroom.
If your bathtub doesn’t have one, buy a tub seat, a bench, a small chair, or any portable seat you can use to make sitting in the tub easier.
Make sure that the tub seat you’ll buy has rubber tips on each leg to keep it still and steady while you’re sitting on it.
Install a caddy or two in the shower or bath area where you can keep frequently used items within reach.
Having your shampoo, conditioner, bath gel, and other shower items handy will keep you from getting in and out of the tub or shower while doing your business. Hence, the risk of slipping and falling is limited.
About The Author:
Joe Fleming is the President at ViveHealth.com. Interested in all things related to living a healthy lifestyle, he enjoys sharing and expressing his passion through writing. Working to motivate others and defeat aging stereotypes, Joe uses his writing to help all people overcome the obstacles of life. Covering topics that range from physical health, wellness, and aging all the way to social, news, and inspirational pieces…the goal is to help others “rebel against age”.