One in every three adults aged 65 or older fall every year. The majority of these falls occur in the bathroom. Every year, 235,000 people over the age of 15 are seen in the ER for injuries suffered in the bathroom. One in every five falls cause injuries as serious as a broken bone. The good news is there are several ways to make your bathroom safer and prevent those injuries.
Top 10 Bathroom Safety Tips
- Never lock your bathroom door. A locked door could prevent help from reaching you quickly. Use a Do Not Disturb sign on the door instead.
- Use an elevated toilet seat on the commode to aid in sitting down or standing up from the toilet with less effort.
- Use a tub grab bar to help get in and out of the bath easier. You can also place suctioned grab bar on the shower wall to hold onto as well.
- A bath bench with a back can provide safety and comfort while showering or bathing.
- Equip your shower with a handheld shower head that you can easily maneuver, minimizing your movement in the shower.
- A no-skid bath mat can be placed on the shower floor or tub to add cushioned comfort and safety.
- Keep the thermostat on your water heater set at 120 degrees or lower to avoid being scalded. Mark the faucet handles clearly as ‘hot’ and ‘cold.’
- Throw out your bathroom rugs. These are the number one cause of household falls. If you need them in the bathroom, secure them with slip resistant backing.
- Make sure your bathroom is well lit during the day and night. You can install a night light that comes on automatically in dim light.
- Take your time in the bathroom. If you are in a rush, you are more likely to fall.