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The 4 Most Surprising Bathroom Hazards for the Elderly

Protect Your Elderly Loved Ones by Addressing These 4 Bathroom Safety Hazards

Bathrooms can be perilous, especially for people who are elderly or living with a chronic condition that can make slips and falls more likely.

One study found that the bathroom was the most common location for fall injuries in the home, including when people are hurrying to the bathroom. A National Institute on Aging statistic states that 80% of falls in the home happen in the bathroom.

The good news is that simple safety measures can be put in place to make bathrooms safer for everyone – but especially for older adults who are aging in place, who may not have the same eyesight, balance, and coordination as they once had.

Top 4 Elderly Bathroom Safety Hazards

Consider these other risk factors that could lead to your elderly loved one falling or otherwise injuring themselves in the bathroom:

1) Believe it or not: A bathmat in the tub or shower

In theory, shower mats are there to prevent a fall on a slick surface. In reality, however, they can become a tripping hazard as they bunch up or move when stepped on. The solution is to instead attach non-slip decals to the surface of the tub or shower (along with installing grab bars in the shower and converting tub-shower combinations to more accessible walk-in showers).

2) Lack of adequate lighting

It’s not uncommon for those aged 65 or older to need to use the toilet in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, being half awake is only going to increase the chances of tripping or slipping. The solution is to install a simple night light that can at the very least make it clear where the light switch is in the dark.

3) No handheld showerhead

When someone needs to use a chair or bench in the shower or tub (a common aging-in-place modification), they will also need an easy-to-reach showerhead that they can move around without too much twisting and turning. Adding an adjustable showerhead that allows the individual to clean themself while remaining safely seated is another simple way to prevent a fall or twisting back injury in the shower.

4) Hot water

As we age, our skin becomes thinner and more sensitive to high water temperatures. At the same time, there’s a decreased ability to sense when water is hot enough to scald, and many seniors don’t react fast enough to prevent a burn. Help prevent burn injuries to your elderly loved one by setting the water heater thermostat between 110 to 120 degrees, which is considered safe.

Keep Your Loved One Safe with Professional Home Care Services

Stay safer at home by scheduling routine in-home care services. Your local Homewatch CareGivers provides elder care services to support your loved one while they age in place. These services may include grooming assistance, meal preparation, companionship, light housework, transportation, and more, and are available on a regular or as-needed schedule.

Want to learn more about aging in place? We offer a wealth of information online! Learn about helping an elderly loved one stay safe in the bathroom or take a look at fall prevention tips.

To learn more about our professional caregiving services, contact Homewatch CareGivers today.

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