Bathroom accidents can happen to anyone, but they’re especially prevalent among aging adults. Although adults over the age of 65 have become some of the most tech-savvy people, this doesn’t mean they know everything about staying safe in and around the bathroom. Statistics show that 33% of adults over 65 will fall at least once per year, and these falls are often accompanied by slips and trips near sinks, toilets, and tubs or showers. Read on to learn more about bathroom safety tips, and how you can avoid bathroom accidents and stay independent and healthy as long as possible.
Think About Your Routine
Keep a calendar in your bathroom or bedroom and jot down what you do each day. This will help you understand when you have a particularly high risk of falling. By understanding when you’re most likely to fall, you can take extra precautions to prevent injury. For example, many people find that their balance is worse in the mornings before having coffee or being for a walk.
Get Help When You Need It
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. There are many resources available in the community like personal care services, adult day care, and caregiver assistance that can help you or your loved one remain independent in their own home. If you find yourself struggling with bathroom safety after a fall, injuries, or declining health, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of these services for assistance. You don’t have to let an injury stop you from living on your own or going about your daily life – as long as you’re smart about doing so!
First and foremost, aging adults should be certain that their bathroom has sufficient lighting. It is difficult to maneuver around in a poorly lit area. If your eyesight is not what it used to be, you should ensure that your bathroom is well-lit at all times of day or night. The type of lighting they choose depends on personal preference, but light bulbs are available that can both illuminate and lower energy costs.
Avoid Slip Traps
One of the easiest bathroom safety tips for aging loved ones is to avoid slip traps. These are things that can make you trip, like rugs near toilets and doors, loose clothing or objects on a floor, or non-carpeted areas near a tub. Instead of using rugs around your toilet area (or even on your bathroom floor), try using tile in plain white so it doesn’t create areas where people can trip. Another easy step is placing a nonslip rug by bathtub and shower entrances. This helps you to move safely through wet areas as well as maintain balance when getting in and out of the shower or tub. Also, make sure everything is kept neat and tidy in your bathrooms so there aren’t any loose items or clothes that can get caught underfoot or caught on something while moving around. And be aware of any non-carpeted portions in your tubs – keep these dry at all times to avoid falls caused by wet spots!
Use Grab Bars Wisely
Grab bars are fantastic for helping you get in and out of a bathroom. They can also help you use a toilet independently, something that’s hard to do when medications or other health problems compromise your balance. That said, grab bars aren’t always necessary, so don’t go installing them everywhere—especially if they take away from a room’s aesthetic appeal. Instead, think about adding one to areas where you struggle most with balance and coordination.