Around 30% of all adults aged 65 and above fall every year, making falls the number one cause of injury death among the elderly. According to the Health Promotion Board, falls may be caused by environmental factors such as uneven, slippery surfaces and poor bathroom designs. However, retrofitting your bathrooms with fall-proof furniture and devices can greatly reduce such falls.
Grab bars and railings
Bathroom safety is important for the elderly due to the slippery surfaces that can cause accidents. Some seniors may slip and lose their balance, and reach for the towel bar, which may come off the wall when being pulled down since most towel bars cannot support the weight of adults.
A recommended solution would be to replace the towel bars with slip-resistant grab bars that can support the weight of users. Some grab bars can also double up as a towel bar and even as a shelf to put toiletries.
Revamping slippery surfaces
The tiles of bathrooms and bathtub surfaces tend to be slippery after frequent usages hence are danger zones for falling. Hence, it is advisable to place non-slip mats or stick anti-slip adhesive stickers onto surfaces that are likely to get wet.
Using shower seats
For seniors who have difficulty balancing and standing for a long period of time, a shower chair can help provide a stable resting place for them while showering, making the shower experience more comfortable. There are many types of shower chairs; some contain backrests and armrests for added comfort whereas others are built-in, with the seat being attached to the wall.
10 Ways to Senior Proof Your Home. (n.d.). Retrieved June 16, 2016, from My Senior Source: http://myseniorsource.com/topics/home-safety/senior-proof-your-home
Patterson, A. (2011, February 3). 5 inexpensive ways to elder proof your home. Retrieved June 16, 2016, from Reuters: http://blogs.reuters.com/reuters-wealth/2011/02/03/5-inexpensive-ways-to-elder-proof-your-home/
Tideiksaar, R. (2013, October 4). Making bathrooms safe for seniors. Retrieved June 16, 2016, from Consumer Affairs: https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/making-bathrooms-safe-for-seniors-041013.html
Bowen, A. (n.d.). Senior-Proof Your Bathroom. Retrieved June 16, 2016, from Senior Advisor : https://www.senioradvisor.com/blog/2014/10/senior-proof-