Updated: May 12, 2022
Did you know that the bathroom can be a dangerous place for any member of your family? A bathroom is a place where you have to move carefully because the floors are slick, the surfaces are wet, and the space is small - especially for seniors with movement difficulties.
A study published in CDC's MMWR, "Trends in Nonfatal Falls and Fall-Related Injuries Among Adults Aged ≥65 Years — United States, 2012–2018" shows that approximately 234,000 individuals aged 15 and older were treated in the hospital for injuries caused by bathroom activities.
One in four older Americans had a fall, resulting in approximately 36 million falls and 8 million fall injuries that kept them from doing things daily. FALLs are prevalent; however, there are ways to lower your chance of falling.
Bathroom Mobility Tips for Seniors
If you are a senior or elderly person, using these tips can help make your bathroom safer. Identify potential hazards and install safety precautions to prevent accidents from happening.
Tip #1 - Keep the bathroom floor clear of clutter
The first step to reducing your risk of falling is to declutter your bathroom. Remove any rugs or mats that could cause you to trip. Keep the floor clean and dry at all times.
It is important to keep the bathroom floor free of objects that can cause a fall, such as boxes, cleaning supplies, or toiletry products. If you must keep these items in the bathroom, be sure to store them in a safe place where they will not cause you to trip.
Tip #2 - Install grab bars in the shower and on the side of the toilet
Installing grab bars next to the toilet, in the shower, and next to the bathtub can help you maintain your balance while using these areas.
Be sure to use the grab bars properly. Place your hand on the bar and use your body weight to help you stand up or sit down. You should not use the grab bars for support when you are walking.
Tip #3 - Install a bidet
A bidet can be a helpful addition to your bathroom. Bidets help you clean yourself after using the toilet and can reduce the risk of falls.
Be sure to use the bidet properly, and do not stand up while using it. Also, you can use the grab bars to help you maintain your balance.
If you install an electric bidet toilet seat, the risk of falling is reduced because these bidets usually have a side control that you can use to make the bidet do all the cleaning work without the need to move or perform any physical activity. Cleaning your private parts has never been so easy and safe to do.
Do you have doubts about how to use a bidet? Don't worry, we've covered that topic before in our "How to Use a Bidet" blog.
Tip #4 - Place a non-slip mat in the shower and on the floor around the toilet
You can put a non-slip mat on the floor of the bathroom to help keep you safe. These mats will help you to keep your balance while in the bathroom. They will also help to prevent you from slipping and falling.
A non-slip mat is usually implemented to decrease slip and fall accidents as it sticks well to the floor, and quickly dries when it becomes wet.
Tip #5 - Use a stool or raised seat to make it easier to take a shower
If you find it difficult to clean yourself while in the shower, using a stool or raised seat can make it easier. This will help you to avoid falling while trying to use the wash.
There are many different types of stools and seats available on the market. Choose one that is comfortable for you and that will help you to maintain your balance.
When using a stool or raised seat, be sure to place it firmly in the middle of the shower so that you can easily reach the grab bars. Also, be sure to use the grab bars to help you get on and off the stool or seat.
Tip #6 - Avoid using bath rugs, which can slip and cause falls
Bath rugs can be a hazard in the bathroom. They can slip and cause you to fall. If you must use a bath rug, be sure to choose one that has a non-slip backing as we mentioned recently.
On the other hand, if you continue to use the rug. Use the grab bars to help you get in and out of the bathtub or shower.
Tip #7 - If needed, ask for help from a relative or friend when bathing or using the toilet
If you find it difficult to bathe or use the toilet on your own, ask for help from a relative or friend. This will help to reduce your risk of falling.
You can also hire a home health aide to come to your house and help you with these tasks. Home health aides are trained and experienced in helping people with bathing and using the toilet.
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of wisdom. By asking for help, you can reduce your risk of falling and avoid serious injury.
These are just a few tips that can help you to avoid falls in the bathroom. If you have any concerns about your ability to safely use the bathroom, be sure to speak with your doctor or a healthcare professional. They will be able to give you more specific advice and help you to create a plan that is right for you.
Thank you for reading our blog. We hope these tips will help you to stay safe while in the bathroom.
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