However, without proper preparation, your loved one’s home also can be surprisingly dangerous, especially in their bathrooms. Bathrooms can be very dangerous because of their slippery surfaces and lack of items to hold onto for support and balance. These factors greatly increase the chances for fall-related injuries ranging from minor cuts, scrapes and bruises to more severe injuries, such as broken bones (especially hip fractures), and even death.
Things to consider when creating a safe and comfortable environment for your loved are:
- Grab bars. If your loved one has trouble getting in and out of the shower or has trouble balancing, grab bars are essential to install in their bathroom. Grab bars should be screwed into the wall, not nailed, and should be tested after installation to make sure they are functional. If your loved one does fall, the grab bars can help them be used as an anchor to move in and out of the shower comfortably or themselves up should they fall
- Use a night light. By installing a night light or motion sensor lights in your loved one’s walkways from the bedroom to the bathroom, you decrease the risk of fall or injury.
Prevent slips. Use non-skid mats on the floor of the shower or bathtub. Additionally remove any area rugs that can cause your loved one to slip and replace them with rugs with rubber backing or textured tile flooring.
- Use a bath bench. A bath bench eliminates the hazards of stepping in and out of the tub. It allows users to get in the bath tub safely by sitting down on the bench outside the tub, then sliding over safely into the tub. The bath bench is often used with a hand-held shower, allowing the user to remain seated while bathing.
- Consider the help of a caregiver. If your loved one has trouble getting around or has fallen in the past, then it may be time to consider the help of a caregiver. The caregiver can supervise your loved one to ensure their safety in the bathroom as well as around their home.
When it comes to bathroom safety, it is important to take the proper precautions. A safe bathroom will give you the peace of mind that your loved one can go to the bathroom or use the shower with a lowered risk of injury.
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