January is bathroom safety month

We’re celebrating bathroom safety all month long to bring awareness to the most dangerous room in the home

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Did you know that up to 80 percent of falls in the home occur in the bathroom?

More than one-third of fall-related injuries happen while bathing or showering

The chance of falling and getting injured increases with age and peaks at age 85

WHAT MAKES THE BATHROOM SO DANGEROUS?

Why do so many more falls and injuries happen in the bathroom? The dangerous nature of the bathroom has to do with the environment and the associated physical tasks that are performed there.

    • Most falls occur while seniors are transferring in and out of the bathtub, shower, or getting on and off the toilet.
    • The bathroom is typically a smaller space, which means the likelihood of hitting a head, arm, or hip increases.
    • Bathrooms have hard surfaces and flooring which contributes to the higher risk of serious injury.
    • Showering and bathing causes hard surfaces to become slippery. Slipping is the number one reason for falling in the bathroom.
    • Toilet seats are often too low, contributing to the difficulty of sitting and standing and causes one to lose their balance.
    • Rugs are one of the most commonly used items in a bathroom and can cause a loved one to slip or trip and fall.
    • The bathroom is riddled with unstable objects such as hampers, shower curtains, and towel rods that might be wrongly used for balance and support.

how safe is your bathroom?

Use the Safety Checklist below to evaluate your bathroom
Is the bathroom free of clutter?

Clutter in the bathroom can become a tripping hazard. Clean up the loose clutter on the floor and clear out any unnecessary items on the countertops, in the cabinets, or in the shower.

 
Are there loose rugs or mats on the floor?

Rugs can cause both trips and slips in the bathroom. Remove rugs with wrinkled or curled edges. Add slip-resistant backing to other rugs or mats to keep them from sliding.

 
Is there a walk-in shower available?

One of the most common causes of falls in the bathroom is trying to climb over the edge of a bathtub. If there is a walk-in shower available in the house, make this the primary bathing bathroom for an elderly loved one.

If a walk-in shower is not available, you might consider a bathroom renovation to install a walk-in tub or shower or installing handrails and transfer poles to help access the tub.

Can you get on and off the toilet easily?

If the answer is no, handrails should be installed next to the toilet for help sitting and standing. If the toilet and bathtub are next to one another, a transfer pole (like the Security Pole and Curve Grab Bar) can be installed between the two.

Another reason it may be difficult to sit or stand from the toilet is because the toilet seat is too low. Consider installing a toilet seat riser or replacing the toilet all together.

Is there risk of falling while in the shower or bathtub?

There are many potential causes for falling in the bathtub or shower. Slipping, over-extending, dizziness, or scalding water are just a few. Consider the following:

  • Use a shower chair or transfer bench to sit down while bathing.
  • Install handrails inside and outside the shower or bathtub to hold onto.
  • Add a slip-resistant bathmat inside the shower or tub to prevent slipping.
  • Install a removable showerhead to prevent over-extending.
  • Check the water temperature and turn down the water heater if necessary.
Are necessary items in easily accessible locations?

To prevent over-extending while in the shower, install soap and shampoo dispensers on the shower wall. Keep toiletries available without having to bend over or reach to high places.

Are walking aids or wheelchairs going to be used in the bathroom?

If so, measure the bathroom to ensure that a walking device can easily get through the doorway. Make sure that there is ample space for the walker, rollator, or wheelchair to turn around while in the bathroom. Remove anything that may impede the device from freely moving.

the security pole and curve grab bar

Thoroughly Impressed

“From the moment I opened the box, I could tell, this was a quality product. Actually, when I first picked up the box, the weight impressed me. Very nice steel, so smooth, and just the right size for your hands. It feels secure when mounted, and mounting/assembly was so easy. Instructions easy to follow, the videos are great. Thank you Stander Company, for a great, well thought out product.”

 

This pole solved our bathroom safely problem

“The pole allows my husband to get in and out of the shower without putting weight on things that aren’t meant to be weight bearing – like towel racks and glass enclosure door. The pole is placed between the toilet and the shower and with the movable grab bar is able to be used to help with both.”

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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

“I NEED HELP. MY MOM KEEPS FALLING IN THE BATHROOM AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO.”

by Emilia Bourland, OTR, ECHM

This is how the vast majority of conversations with my clients begin. A family caregiver, totally exhausted, exasperated, and frightened calls for help when they feel they have nowhere else to turn. It’s an all too common problem, and often, a serious injury has already happened, or is imminent. But that doesn’t mean there is no hope. On the contrary, there are simple solutions to many of the most common safety issues people face in the bathroom.

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10 REASONS TO TRY THE SECURITY POLE AND CURVE GRAB BAR

As caregivers, there are no limits to what we will do to keep our aging loved ones safe and healthy. This includes finding the right safety devices and mobility aids to simplify tasks and enhance freedom. It can be difficult, however, shuffling through the myriad of categories of mobility and home medical equipment. Just like most things in life, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for home safety. Every person is unique; every home is different; and every situation has its own complexities. But that doesn’t mean an assistive device can’t be versatile, and we can’t speak of versatility without mention of the Security Pole and Curve Grab Bar.

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FALL PREVENTION: 4 IDEAS TO PREVENT FALLS AT HOME

Complete home modifications can be beneficial, but they are not always necessary. In many cases, less-expensive assistive devices can provide equal assistance while allowing your home to stay just the way it is. Here are our favorite assistive devices for each room in your home that can save you money and peace of mind.

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5 steps for fall prevention: a guide for caregivers

The risk of falling increases doubles once an initial fall occurs. Sadly, most of us don’t even think about preventing falls before until it’s too late and a fall has already occurred. 65% of older adults with long-term care needs rely exclusively on family and friends to provide assistance. You may be in this category, which means it’s your responsibility to assess risk and provide solutions to prevent your loved one from falling. The good news about falls is that most of them can be prevented. Knowing the common causes of falls and providing solutions can help your loved one stay healthy and independent for as long as possible.

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