Most falls among the elderly occur at home, many of which happen in the bathroom where floors tend to be slippery. Here are some simple tips to ensure your elderly loved ones have a safe bathing experience.
1. Dealing With Slippery Floors
These days, there are many anti-slip solutions readily available out there, ranging from anti-slip mats, to anti-slip treatments, and anti-slip adhesives.
Anti-slip mats are most common as they come in a single piece that can be laid out in the shower area to provide friction for the user's feet. However, a potential downside is that anti-slip mats tend to trap dirt and mould.
An alternative to this is the option of anti-slip floor treatments. This involves applying a layer of clear chemical that creates microscopic suction cups which prevents the floor from becoming slippery when wet. Such a method is relatively permanent and will typically last several years.
Yet another option is to use anti-slip adhesives. These adhesives are easy to apply and trap less dirt and mould compared to anti-slip mats. As they also cover only certain areas rather than the entire floor area, they also trap less dirt compared to anti-slip floor treatments. Using such adhesives typically last up to 3 years, and they can be removed at any time without damage to the floor if necessary.
2. Installing Grab Bars
As with anti-slip solutions, there are many different types of grab bars available today. The more common ones include installed grab bars (require screw installation), suction grab bars, and folding grab bars. We have also recently introduced a unique series of integrated grab bars which serve dual-functions.
Installed grab bars provide a steady support for users and come in various lengths to suit different bathroom sizes and user's needs. As they are attached to the wall with screws, they are more secure than suction grab bars. Some also have corrugated handles to provide the user with a more secure grip.
Suction grab bars can be installed in seconds, but a key thing to remember is that they are not meant to support the entire body weight. Instead, they should be used only as handles to support the user when standing. Placing them near the shower head could be a great way to ensure the user has something to hold onto as they shower. Suction grab bars will be best suited for short-term use e.g. for travel.
For assistance in getting up from the toilet seat, folding grab bars provide good support, especially for toilets which are not beside any wall. In addition, they can be folded up against the wall when not in use, thus reducing any obstruction.
When the idea of installing a grab bar comes to mind, its normal to think that it will lead to increased clutter in the bathroom. The unique series of integrated grab bars combines dual-functions of a grab bar with an option of a toilet paper holder, towel rack, or bath shelf. These reduces the need for multiple fixtures and allows your bathroom to remain clutter-free.
3. Using A Shower Seat
Shower seats allow users to take their time to enjoy a relaxing bath in a safe way. Some come with backrests which provide more support for the elderly person, as well as stable legs with anti-slip bases to ensure that it is secure. The use of normal stools are not recommended as they are not meant to be placed in slippery and wet areas, and often they tend to be lightweight in nature which causes them to be toppled over easily.