One of the biggest fears for those aged 65+ is falling in the bathtub or shower. Affecting one-in-four seniors, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries every year. Most of those fall-related injuries occur in the bathroom, and many victims suffer broken bones, hip fractures and head trauma as a result. Unfortunately, many of those seniors never fully recover from those slip-and-fall mishaps and some lose their independence permanently as a result. If you’re an informal caregiver for an aging in place loved one here are some bathing and showering safety tips for seniors that you may want to consider.
Bathrooms Can Be Dangerous for the Elderly
Most tub and shower areas are tight spaces with lots of sharp corners and hard surfaces. Wet bathroom floors are also dangerous, increasing the likelihood for slip-and-fall injuries.
In general, older adults are more vulnerable in the bathroom for age-related reasons like:
- Poor vision
- Mobility issues
- Balance and coordination problems
- Diminished muscle strength
- Slower reaction times
- Cognitive impairment issues including dementia or Alzheimer’s
A senior’s blood pressure also tends to fluctuate when they exert themselves, which can cause dizziness and poor balance. When you combine those balance issues with a wet floor and slippery porcelain tub, you’ve got the perfect recipe for bathroom mishaps.
Creating a More Senior-Friendly Bathroom
Creating a more senior-friendly bathroom for your loved one is possible by taking these steps: