January is National Bath Safety Month. The bathroom is without a doubt the most used room in any household, since all family members make use of it several times each day. While the other rooms in the house may or may not be used by occupants, the bathroom is certain to be visited for multiple reasons daily.
Unfortunately, the bathroom is also the place for many personal injuries in the home, because water can easily make floors slippery, and because the room itself is generally far more confined than other, more open living spaces throughout the home. One of the best ways to minimize bathroom injuries for seniors in the San Fernando Valley is to utilize the services of in-home caregivers from a San Fernando Valley home care company. Professional caregivers from such companies should have the skills and experience to reduce bathroom accidents for their clients.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirms that every year, more than 250,000 people require medical assistance for injuries suffered in the bathroom – and those are only cases severe enough to require treatment.
Seniors who live in the San Fernando Valley can find appropriate bath safety equipment and installation services at these establishments:
Seniors are especially at risk in bathrooms because they usually have less navigational skill and judgment in tight places, and their reaction time to an impending slip or fall is not nearly so responsive as that of younger bathroom users. Bathtubs and showers can be especially risky propositions for the elderly, because slippery surfaces are a given in these scenarios, and that creates the potential for accidents with every cleaning.
The best approach to senior bath safety is always to be proactive, and to install some features which can significantly reduce the risk to seniors in the bathroom, rather than to ignore it and hope nothing bad ever happens. Since this is a very common problem in many households, the need for senior precautions is well known, and various manufacturers have stepped in to fill the need for products that will lessen the likelihood of bathroom accidents.
This should be the first step in your attempt to make the bathroom safe. It should include an examination of the floor texture, the crowdedness of the room, the availability of supports for grabbing during emergencies, the difficulty of maneuvering around the room, and the height of the bath tub wall.
Suction pads installed in the bath tub can prevent many slips which seniors might be especially prone to, providing much greater traction than the slippery surface of the tub itself. A pad or rug placed just beside the tub is a good accompaniment as well, since the first step out of the tub would otherwise transfer water to the floor, and increase chances of an accident.
Grab bars are angled bars positioned on the shower wall, which can easily be grasped by seniors getting into or out of the tub, to provide stability and balance. If footing becomes slippery while showering, the grab bar can also provide a measure of safety to help regain balance. The grab bar actually serves as a kind of inanimate helper, without which some other person might be needed to facilitate the showering experience for a senior.
Shower chairs, benches, and stools can be an important part of shower safety for seniors, because they help to avoid the need for standing too long and getting tired. Once this happens, a senior bather will become much more prone to other accidents. Tub chairs with back support are even better, providing as they do, additional support for seniors with back pains or even disabilities.
To avoid problems with stepping in or out of the bath tub entirely, installing a walk-in tub can be a wonderful safety measure for seniors. This simple action can often put a senior off-balance, leading to a slip or fall that could be disastrous. These kind of tubs are very senior-friendly, with a water-tight door that swings open for entering and exiting, and they often include a chair for easy bathing as well. For further convenience, a hand-held nozzle can provide the water source for easy cleaning, and make the whole bathing session a safe and satisfying one for seniors.
It may not be the most common type of bathroom injury, but seniors can easily become scalded by unexpectedly hot water, either because they have reduced vision, or because they have impaired sensitivity in the extremities. A clearly marked temperature gauge can help avoid these kinds of problems, and ensure that hot water burns do not occur.
Bath tub lifts
These can be ideal for seniors with limited mobility, because they eliminate the need for seniors to get into and out of the tub by climbing. The bather simply sits in the raised bath lift (already positioned in the tub), swings the legs over the side of the tub, and lowers the lift into the tub. Water can then be dispensed either for a bath or shower, and the bather remains seated in the lift for the whole time. Most lifts also are adjustable so the bather can recline during the bath or shower.
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