January is Bath Safety Month
Did you know that The National Institute on Aging reports that 80 percent of falls suffered by those aged 65 and older occur in the bathroom? Bathrooms can be hazardous places in our homes. Additionally, for seniors and those with mobility issues, this puts them at an increased risk of falling. Let’s examine some of the most common bathroom hazards and what you can do to mitigate these dangers today.
Hazard: Hard, slippery surfaces. When combined with water and a decrease in balance and mobility, falls can result when getting in/out of the tub or shower.
Safety Tip: #1. Put a non-slip rubber mat or self-stick strips on the floor of the tub or shower.
#2. Mount grab bars near toilets and on both the inside and outside of your tub and shower. These can provide extra support when getting up from seated positions and in and around your bathroom.
Hazard: Bathmats and Rugs – It’s time to toss the rugs and loose mats that act more like a towel when placed on the floor. These don’t grip the floor and when combined with water and body weight, can lead to a situation where the rug slides out from under you!
Safety Tip: Use only nonskid mats, strips, or carpet on all surfaces that may get wet.
Hazard: Low or No Lighting at Night
Safety Tip: Use motion sensor night lights in your room to light your walking path during late night trips to use the restroom. Remember to leave a light on in the bathroom at night or use a night light that turns on automatically in the dark.
For additional tips and ideas on reducing falls in your home, check out the CDC’s brochure: A Home Fall Prevention Safety Checklist for Older Adults.
Written by: Lynessa Stone, Advanced Health Care