Bathroom Safety: Senior Fall Prevention
Updated: Sep 8
Protect your elderly loved one from the risk of falling with these bathroom safety tips.
Why are bathrooms dangerous for seniors?
Bathrooms have a hard surface and corners. They usually require a lot of sitting down, standing up, and turning around. Dizziness and fatigue affect many older people and when combined with the fall hazards in many bathrooms can lead to serious injury.
When seniors lose confidence taking a shower, going to the toilet or bathing in the tub, personal hygiene and care can become neglected. These simple bathroom safety tips can restore confidence and prevent falls.
Use a raised toilet seat
Seniors can struggle with sitting down and getting up from the toilet due to mobility issues. This is a common cause of bathroom falls. Raised toilet seats reduce this risk as it is easier to sit on and get up from a higher toilet seat increasing bathroom safety.
Install grab bars
Grab bars are essential equipment to increase bathroom safety.
A grab bar plays two key roles 1) it provides something to hold onto when moving around the bathroom and 2) offers something to grab hold of if someone slips to prevent fall related injuries. Grab bars are affordable and easy to install in the the bathroom and shower bars for the bath and shower area.
Non slip mats
Wet floors and hard surfaces are a recipe for broken bones and the most common cause of serious fall injuries. Putting down non slip floor mats on the floor will make the bathroom safer.
Remember - a non slip mat can also become a tripping hazard, so choose a quality mat designed not to lift up at the edges.
Use a non slip mat in the shower and bath too. This is the most dangerous area where falls occur. Non slip mats grip for the tub or shower area made from rubber or PVC to create a non-slip surface for preventing slips on a wet floors.
Install automatic night lights
Many seniors are at risk of falls when walking to the bathroom at night when the home is dark. Installing automatic night lights along the way to the bathroom and in the bathroom itself can reduce falls.
Install non-slip surfaces
The fall is often caused by the slippery surface. For prevention of slipping, the installation of non-slip surfaces should be installed on the bathroom floor. Non-slip decals can be glued onto bathroom tiles and are as hazardous as the bathtub when wet. Remove rugs which are easily falling off.
Use a shower chair
Showering can become very difficult for seniors if they don't have the leg strength to stand for long periods or lose balance easily when reaching for a towel. Shower chairs provide the ability to show without the risk of falling. A quality shower chair is stable and has anti slip feet that fit perfectly onto bath mats.
Consider a walk in bathtub
A walk-in tub is designed so you can walk into it - essentially its a vertical version of a traditional bathtub with a door on the side. When empty, you open the door to step inside the tub. When closed, the tub can be filled as normal. Rather than having to step over the high side of a traditional tub which can lead to falls in the bathroom, you simply step over a very small threshold, often just a few inches in height.
Put toiletries in easy-to-reach locations
Improving bathroom safety also includes something as simple as making personal care items easy to reach for your elderly family member. This way, they won't need to bend down or reach up for soap, shampoo etc, which can prevent slips. Install a wall mounted holder in a convenient location near a grab bar.
Use a transfer bench
A transfer bench is an excellent solution for preventing falls. It is a bath seat designed to straddle a bath tub with 2 legs placed inside the tub and two outside the tub. This means, after bathing, your senior loved one can sit on the centre of the bench and lift their legs over the tub wall to enter and exit the bathtub safely.
About Adaptive Clothing Australia
We are a Brisbane-based, family run business with more than 22 years' experience working with aged care mobility products and clothing. We pride ourselves on delivering quality services with a caring, personal touch. Our team of experts is dedicated to providing you with the most accurate and reliable information to help you make informed decisions about your adaptive clothing needs.
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The Adaptive Clothing Australia Team