7 Potentially Life-Saving Bathtub Safety Tips for Seniors
According to the CDC, about 36 million seniors fall each year, resulting in more than 32,000 deaths. Falls are the leading cause of injury and injury death among the aging population.
With that being said, bathtub safety should be a top concern for those who are aging in place, and loved ones alike.
If your current bathroom is not safe, it may be time to look into a bathtub replacement or even a bathroom remodel. A bathroom contractor can inspect your bathroom and make recommendations to improve safety in your home.
Still, there are some life-saving bathtub safety tips that every senior should follow.
1. Use Night Lights
Bathroom falls can be fatal. To reduce fall risk, automatic night lights or motion sensor lighting are used to help seniors find their way at night.
2. Install Grab Bars
Bathtub safety bars such as grab bars or handrails can save a life when a senior has a slip. Many seniors rely on towel bars to help them keep their balance, however, those are not designed to support much weight.
Grab bars are best wall-mounted in the bath or shower and next to the toilet, as well. Although there are suction cup bars available, it is best to purchase the ones that bolt in place. This will prevent the risk of injury from a suction cup bar that slips off the wall.
3. Apply Gripping Tape and Non-slip Mats
When it comes to bathtub safety, seemingly small details such as using gripping tape and non-slip mats are very important.
Gripping tape can be applied to grab bars and handrails to ensure these are slip-resistant when wet.
Non-slip mats or bathtub safety strips should be placed in the bath or shower. You can also place non-slip rugs on the floor outside of the tub and in front of the toilet or sink. This will help prevent slips and falls on slippery, wet tiles.
4. Use a Handheld Showerhead
Handheld showerheads are convenient as they allow seniors to stand or sit while they bathe.
These come in lightweight options that won’t cause strain on hands or arms. There are also some available with large hand-dials that are easy to turn to change spray settings.
It is also best to look for a showerhead with a long hose and flexibility, providing ease of movement.
5. Install a Raised Toilet Seat With Arms
Another easy-to-install option for seniors and loved ones who are concerned about bathroom safety is a raised toilet seat with arms. This device makes it easier for older adults to sit and get up from the toilet.
6. Purchase a Good Shower Chair
Many seniors have limited mobility or balance issues. A shower chair or transfer bench can provide the support that a senior needs to get in and out of the tub as well as bathe comfortably without fear of falling.
7. Consider a Bathtub or Shower Replacement
Sometimes the best move one can make for their safety as they age in place is to have their bathtub or shower replaced. There are options such as tub to shower conversions, which can provide greater handicap accessibility by eliminating barriers that seniors must maneuver over with bathtubs.
Bathtub Safety Is a Priority
With the number of falls, injuries, and deaths that occur each year for seniors, it is undoubtedly urgent for bathtub safety to be prioritized. These tips can minimize the risk of slips and falls if followed. Don’t forget that bathtub maintenance is always important to keep your tub in great condition.
If you are still concerned about whether your bathroom is safe and wish to learn more about remodeling options, please contact us. We will be happy to make recommendations and help meet your needs!