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How to Prevent Falls in The Bathroom

By Jessica Deng

January is National Bath Safety Month, a reminder to assess bath safety and to take proper precautions while in the bathroom. A fall can be an unpleasant situation for anyone. A serious fall can have long-lasting physical and psychological consequences.The bathroom is particularly a dangerous area in which falls can happen for a senior citizen or someone with a physical injury or disability. We thought it would be a fitting time to remind people especially seniors the importance of exercising caution before, during, and after enjoying a bath. Here’s a list of 7 fall-prevention ideas for bathrooms:

Make an appointment with your healthcare provider

Start by making an appointment with your healthcare provider. To assess your risk and discuss fall prevention strategies, your healthcare provider may want to talk about the following: your medications, any previous falls, and your health conditions.

Stay Active

Exercise helps you maintain a good balance and coordination. Regular exercise can increase your flexibility and stability. After exercising, you are less likely to fall when you are on your feet. Making a daily habit of conducting easy exercises can improve your stamina and agility while vastly reducing your chances of experiencing a fall.

Safety Measures

The most important safety measure is to repair loose tiles or remove shower steps in the bathroom. Loose tiles or shower steps can easily trip you when getting a shower.

You can also install grab bars on the wall. The grab bars will assist in gaining stability and balance when getting in and out of the bathroom.

Remove Obstacles and Clutter

Bathroom safety can be improved by removing items that easily tripped over. One of the biggest risks for the elderly is tripping over the side of their bathtub. Installing a walk-in shower or walk-in bathtub can prevent this from occurring. Avoid keeping items such as trash cans, scales, and toilet brushes in high-traffic areas where they could cause a fall.

Maintain Dry Floors

 Wet floors caused by leaky plumbing, spills, and drips in the kitchen and bathroom are serious fall hazards. Make sure to mop up any excess water immediately and fix any water fixtures that need repair. Where water is regularly used, like in the bathroom and kitchen, use non-slip or rubber mats around the sink and in the shower or tub.

Maintain Good Lighting

Many older adults experience diminished eyesight as they age. Ensure that your home has excellent lighting, even if your parent or loved one has relatively good eyesight. Replace light fixtures that produce poor light in favor of those that distribute even, bright light. Use bulbs with high wattage – the higher the better.

Make a Plan

In spite of our best efforts, accidents can still happen sometimes. For that reason, it’s important to be prepared for a fall in addition to taking preventive measures. Make a habit of always keeping your cell phone with you or keeping a list with emergency numbers near the phone. Alternatively, consider getting a medical alert device that will allow you to contact emergency services immediately.

While it may seem inconvenient to improve the safety of your bathroom, falling in the bathroom can be dangerous. If you fall while showering or bathing, you can sustain injuries on your head, neck, and back. However, many bathroom slip and fall accidents are preventable and you don’t need to live in fear of falling.

If you’re concerned about your health or the health of a loved one and want more information on fall prevention or how LifeWorx can provide the best plan of care for you or your loved one, please contact us today.

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