Elderly Care and Bathroom Safety
Elderly Care in Windsor NJ
The most dangerous room in the home is the bathroom, especially when getting in and out of the bath and trying to carefully walk on the wet floors. Slips and falls are especially common in this room because of the wet floors, which can prove to be fatal to adults who are 65 and over. According to the CDC, roughly 23,000 aging adults died from a fall, while 30% will suffer moderate to severe injuries that include hip fractures and head traumas. People of every age could get injured by simply stepping out of the bathtub, but for seniors, the risks are much more serious. There are some ways the senior receiving in-home care can increase their safety in the bathroom without being one of the thousands of seniors suffering from a fall-related injury.
What Can be Done to Make the Bathroom a Safer Place
- Install Safety Fixtures: By installing grab bars in easy-to-reach places, the senior will be able to easily help themselves get in and out of the bath or shower and navigate throughout the bathroom easily to help avoid any slips.
- Add Skid-proof Mats: Standing in the shower or bathtub is just as dangerous as trying to walk on a wet bathroom floor. Adding a skid-proof mat will enable these aging adults to safely bathe or shower. Skid-proof mats can also be added to the bathroom floor to lower the risks of injury as the senior walks throughout the bathroom.
- Do a Little Remodeling: Stepping into and out of a bath tub can be a challenge for many elders. If possible, have a shower installed to replace the bathtub so that these aging adults can simply walk into the shower. If installing a shower is not an option, a shower seat can be added to the bathtub that will allow seniors to sit down while they bathe to aid those seniors who do not have the muscular strength they once had.
- Check the Water Heater Temperature: As the body ages, the ability to determine if the water is too hot or too cold becomes increasingly difficult, especially if they have medical conditions that lower their ability to feel the heat. If the water heater temperature is too high, it could lead to burns from the scalding water. To keep this from happening, the water heater temperature should be no higher than 120 degrees.
- Raise the Toilet Seat: Lowering themselves onto a low toilet seat can be difficult for many seniors, as well as raising themselves to a standing position. By installing a raised toilet seat, they will not have to squat or get injured by lowering themselves onto a low toilet seat.
- Have Supervision: The best way to avoid any accidents that could occur in the bathroom is to have the caregiver supervise all bathroom activities.
Every year, thousands of seniors are injured, both moderately and fatally, from bathroom accidents. These safety tips will greatly reduce the risks of that occurring for elders receiving senior care.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elderly care services in Windsor, NJ or the surrounding areas, please call Independence Home Care today at 609-208-1111 for more information.
Tideiksaar, Rein. “Making Bathrooms Safe for Seniors.” April 10, 2013.