Preventing Senior Falls in Bathrooms

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More than one in three seniors over age 65 fall each year, and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) says 80 percent of these falls are in the bathroom. Due to the multitude of unforgiving and slippery surfaces, bathrooms are very hazardous for the home. Preventing Senior Falls in Bathrooms

Knowing how to get in and out of tubs and showers properly and equipping homes with necessary safety precautions can reduce senior falls, keep them out of the emergency room and possibly extend their life. Preventing Senior Falls in Bathrooms

According to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.6 million older adults seek emergency care each year for fall-related injuries, fractures or head trauma. In addition to potentially losing their independence, seniors 65 years old and up have a 25 percent chance of dying within six months to a year if they fall and break a hip.

Seniors are vulnerable to falls for many reasons — eyesight and reflexes aren’t as razor-sharp as they used to be, not to mention the balance issues posed by diabetes, heart disease, thyroid conditions and various medications.

One of the most effective ways to preserve balance is to stay active with an exercise regimen. Ask your doctor about exercises designed to improve balance, stability and overall mobility, such as moderate yoga.

But, another preventative method recommended by physicians is installing a shower or tub built around the unique needs of elderly adults. For example, Safe Step Tub Walk-In Tub Company’s new walk-in shower has a foldable chair, flexible shower wand, grab bars, ultra-low step up and other senior-friendly features. And since the cost of retirement is high for many seniors, installation is included in the price.

Besides a customized shower or bath, NIA and the American Geriatrics Society advise the following bathroom safety precautions for seniors:

  • Non-slip rubber mats in front of sink, toilet and shower/bath.
  • Grab bars inside and outside of shower/bath and on either side of the toilet (these are much stronger than towel racks, which aren’t meant to support weight).
  • Bright lights that are easily accessible.

For additional tips:

7 Simple Steps to Senior bathroom safety

Selecting Grab Bars 

About the Author

Kimberly Johnson

As a Senior.com Director of Marketing, Kimberly Johnson is passionate about providing Seniors with the resources and products to live well.  Kimberly is a seasoned caregiver to her family and breast cancer survivor.  Her father battled ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, for 13 months before passing.  Today Kimberly lives in Southern California near her 102 year old grandmother, widowed mother, a mentally disabled sister and second sister who is also a breast cancer survivor.  She is happily married to her husband of 22 years and they have 3 children.

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Kimberly Johnson
Advocate for Seniors

As a Senior.com Director of Marketing, Kimberly Johnson is passionate about providing Seniors with the resources and products to live well.  Kimberly is a seasoned caregiver to her family and breast cancer survivor.  Her father battled ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease, for 13 months before passing.  Today Kimberly lives in Southern California near her 102 year old grandmother, widowed mother, a mentally disabled sister and second sister who is also a breast cancer survivor.  She is happily married to her husband of 22 years and they have 3 children.

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