The elderly are at a greater risk for falling and the effects of a fall can be much greater for them. The bathroom is a common place in which falls occur. To reduce the possibility of a fall in the bathroom for an elderly person, modifications to the bathroom may be necessary.
Senior Safety – Falls Prevention and Bathroom Safety
Ways to increase the safety of the bathroom include installing grab bars, which are designed to prevent slips and falls by providing leverage to help a person get up. They are usually installed around the tub and beside the toilets.
Nonskid bath mats
Nonskid bath mats can prevent a slip and fall in the tub or shower. Adding a padded shower seat which will allow a person to sit while showering or bathing can further reduce the risk of a slip and fall. Installing a portable handheld showerhead means that an elderly person sitting in a shower seat can comfortably get to the water.
Toilet seats, lowered sinks, and open space under the sink
Other modifications that improve the safety of a bathroom for the elderly are raised toilet seats, lowered sinks, and open space under the sink so a person can sit instead of standing in front of it. Nonskid mats or carpet on any floor surfaces that could potentially become wet can also improve bathroom safety. Remove any clutter that may cause a person to trip.
Falls in the elderly can have many serious consequences that can include a decline in their quality of life and may even lead to their death. Modification of the bathroom to reduce the risk of a fall can be a lifesaving measure.