How to Reduce Your Loved One’s Risk of Falling in the Bathroom
The bathroom can be a dangerous room for your elderly loved one because there are so many ways and reasons that she might fall and injure herself. Here are some basic ways to reduce that risk.
Install Hand Rails Everywhere that You Can
Hand rails are an essential tool for helping your elderly loved one to avoid a fall. Wherever you have wall space, install a hand rail. You should also put them in the tub or shower stall and next to the toilet. You really can’t have too many hand rails in your loved one’s bathroom.
Try a Bath Bench or Shower Chair
For some elderly loved ones, strength and stamina are two dual issues that can lead to falls. Accommodate your elderly loved one’s issues with a bath bench or a shower chair. Both allow her to sit while bathing so that she can rest and save her strength for getting into and out of the tub or shower. These also help to make it easier for you or your loved one’s home care providers to bathe her.
Use Non-slip Mats and Rugs
Most bathrooms have tile or vinyl flooring because carpet would be impractical. The problem is that when those surfaces become wet, and they will, they also become slippery. Having non-slip mats and rugs helps to reduce the risk that your loved one will slip and fall when she encounters a wet patch of flooring.
Choose Shower Tools that Improve Her Reach
Sometimes the tools that your elderly loved one is using in the bath or shower can contribute to a fall. If your loved one is trying to twist around or move her body in ways that put her off balance, she can wind up falling. Try switching to a long-handled showerhead and instead of a washcloth, try using a long-handled sponge. These types of tools allow your loved one to maintain her balance and still reach wherever she needs to reach.
Put a Dispenser in Easy Reach
Another potential problem in the shower or bath is stepping on something like a dropped bar of soap. Or your loved one might lose her balance when she drops a shampoo bottle and tries to reach for it. Eliminate these issues by putting a liquid soap dispenser on the wall in easy reach. You can find one that includes spots for shampoo and conditioner, too, which allows you to get rid of all those extra bottles.
Your loved one’s home care providers can help you determine if your loved one has any specific situations that necessitate other changes in the bathroom, too.