According to the American Association of Retired Persons, nearly 80 percent of adults ages 50 and older have a desire to remain in their home for the long term – and it’s expected that this trend won’t subside anytime soon. In fact, it’s been trending upwards for the better part of a decade now.
However, many older adults make the mistake of thinking they can age in place without making any modifications to their homes and properties and leaving them as-is. And when you consider that some 80 percent of all senior citizen fall accidents occur in the bathroom, it’s these spaces that should become a safety focal point. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at where and why accidents tend to happen in the bathroom and some of the safety features you can install to help prevent them. Here’s a look:
Hazards in the Bathroom
One of the biggest reasons why the bathroom tends to be a leading source of fall accidents, notably among older adults, is due to the presence of water. Water can pool on the bathroom floor after showers, baths or even hand washing – creating a slick surface. Bathmats can also shift when they’re stepped on, posing a threat. And bathtubs and showers can create slick environments that can be a hazard. Finally, something even as seemingly simple as sitting down on and standing up from the toilet can be a problem, especially for any adults that may experience mobility issues.
The good news is that there are ways to minimize these threats. We’ll get into some of the solutions you may want to consider in the next section:
Bathroom Safety Features to Consider
There are a “big three” of bathroom safety solutions that many homeowners should consider to safeguard these areas. In this section, we’ll examine all three of them and how they can all help make any bathroom a much safer space.
Grab Bars and Handles
These are typically installed on the bathtub or shower walls or near toilets to provide a point of contact to help with stabilization in some of these more tricky areas of the bathroom. In addition to providing support as people step in and out of showers and tubs or sit down or stand up from the toilet, grab bars simply make moving around the bathroom a lot easier and more convenient.
Bathing can be a challenge for older adults, especially older adults with mobility issues. The good news is that there are a few solutions that you can deploy to modify the bathroom accordingly. One of these solutions is a shower chair, which is installed in the corner of a shower stall and permits people to sit as they bathe. Since people are sitting – and not standing – in the shower, the risk of a fall is reduced basically to when they get in and out of the shower. Grab bars can help with that. Similarly, a bath bench or shower bench can also serve as a place to sit while bathing. It’s just important to have a detachable shower head or sprayer to permit bathing while seated.
Finally, walk-in showers or tubs are a more significant safety solution, but arguably one of the most effective. These features essentially eliminate any step that older adults would have to take to get into the shower or bathtub, providing easy and convenient access. Walk-in showers are often edge-less and walk-in tubs typically have a watertight door that provides more convenient access.
Contact Matrix Bath Systems Today
To learn more about the solutions to help keep older adults safe while using the bathroom, contact Matrix Home Solutions today.