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Tips For Preventing Falls When Bathing The Elderly

by Sheila Vasquez

A fall can disable an elderly individual and cause health problems that will permanently detract from his or her quality of life. The elderly are particularly susceptible to falls while bathing because of hazards like slippery floors. 

The following are important tips that can help prevent falls among the elderly while showering or bathing:

Have grab bars installed

Getting a walk in tub is not enough to maximize safety for the elderly in a bathroom. Having grab bars installed offers some added safety and helps elderly individuals to support themselves when moving around the tub. Look for walk in tubs models that include grab bars or have them installed separately. 

Make sure there's adequate lighting

Too many people overlook lighting when they are setting up bathroom fixtures for the elderly. Many elderly individuals have vision problems that can be aggravated when lighting is low. Use bright lights in the bathroom to maximize visibility for both the elderly and caretakers. 

Avoid water temperature extremes

When we're exposed to either very cold or very hot water, we have a natural tendency to jump back. This can cause falls among the elderly. It's important that water temperatures are easily controlled in walk in bath/shower fixtures that are used for the elderly. 

Use non-slip mats

Non-slip mats should be put down not only within the walk in tub itself, but also all along the bathroom floor where the elderly individual will be walking. The entire bathroom floor is likely to get wet and become slippery, but non-slip mats will provide secure footing despite pooled water on the floor. 

Get a hand-held nozzle

When a shower nozzle is fixed on the wall, individuals must move around a lot to bathe every part of the body. It's much easier to maneuver a nozzle that can be removed from the wall and held by hand. 

A hand-held nozzle is not only easy to maneuver, but it can also shorten bathing time. This minimizes the amount of time that an elderly individual is exposed to the slip-and-fall hazards of bathing. 

Keep toiletries close by

Bathroom design in facilities where the elderly will be showering and bathing should keep toiletries like soap and shampoo within easy reach. This will shorten shower time and make it so that caretakers can constantly remain close to the elderly individual to provide support and to watch out for any moments when lost balance increases slip-and-fall risks. 

Contact a company like Carefree Walk In Tubs to learn more.

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