When you think of dangerous rooms in your home, you might picture the kitchen full of sharp objects and fire. You might even imagine your front room where you’ve installed home security to protect against burglars. However, neither space is as dangerous as your bathroom. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 22 million people over the age of 15 sustain non-fatal injuries in their bathrooms every year. Though these people made it out alright, the approximately 22 million injuries end up costing nearly $68 million in lifetime medical costs.
If your aging parent lives alone, you may be concerned about what they would do in the event of a bathroom fall. In fact, a majority of bathroom injuries occur as a result of falling. Fortunately, you can protect your loved one from afar by following these tips:
Get a Medical Panic Pendant
Give your aging parent a medical panic pendant or watch to bring peace of mind to your life. These devices can be worn around the neck or wrist and are waterproof, which is great for use in the bathroom. In the event of an emergency, the wearer can press and hold the panic button on the pager, which will alert the monitoring center. The workers there will notify authorities that an emergency has taken place and an ambulance will be on the way. This alarm system will get your aging parent help faster than you could, which may prevent a very negative outcome. Get one for your loved one so you don’t have to worry about dangerous bathroom hazards any more.
Buy Bath Mats
Purchase bath mats that have plenty of traction. Some designs are made of rubber and grip the floor well. No matter what kind of mat you get, be sure that it doesn’t slide around and that it lays low to the ground – thick rugs can trip seniors. You can set a mat next to the bathtub or shower for use after washing, or put it in front of the sink.
Add Traction to the Shower Floor
Bathtubs and showers can become slippery fast. Install rubber strips on the floor of your shower or tub to add traction. The strips have an adhesive on the bottom so that they’ll be easy to attach. You’ll want several strips along the floor so that you never step in an uncovered spot.
After a while the strips might lift from the tub. Water wears down the adhesive and they unstick. Have a few backup strips so you can replace old ones as needed. Get a pack for both you and your aging parent.
Install Grab Bars
Grab bars are a great investment for everyone, whether your a senior living alone or a young parent. Install one next to the tub or shower and near the toilet – this one is important for adults who have a hard time standing after sitting. Be sure you attach the bar to a stud in the wall so that it won’t rip out of the drywall. You can find grab bars in a variety of metal and finish options. Talk to your aging parent to find out which bathroom locations are in the most need of these bars.
Protect the safety of your aging parent by providing plenty of light in their bathroom. A low-intensity light fixture might not be bright enough to help them see and avoid tripping hazards. If you feel the bathroom’s illumination is insubstantial, head to the hardware store to get an upgrade. Furthermore, the bathroom should have a night light so that your aging parent can see when they use the bathroom in the middle of the night. You may also consider installing a motion-sensing bathroom light so that your parent doesn’t have to fumble in the dark to find the light switch.
Get a Hand-Held Shower Head
These devices have a long hose and mounting features that allow you to hold the shower head to wash. They are more convenient to use and safer. Your aging parent can sit on a shower bench and rinse off without worrying about slipping. Some models let the user change the stream to be softer or harder. Choose a water-saving model to help with home energy management by cutting back on your energy consumption.