New York Times wrote, “The smallest room in the house can be a dangerous place.”
Bathroom Injuries by the Numbers
Each year, approximately 235,000 people over the age of 15 visit the emergency room for injuries caused by bathroom mishaps. As people age, they are more likely to suffer an injury in the bathroom. More than 81 percent of these injuries are caused by falls.
And for seniors, the most likely place to fall is near the toilet.
According to the report, 19.3 percent of injuries amongst people aged 65 to 74 took place on or near the toilet, rising to 36.9 percent over the age of 85.
How can you reduce the odds of a bathroom injury for yourself or a loved one?
Fall risk in the bathroom improves if you implement a few prevention tips.
1. Install grab bars
Prevent injuries where they are most likely to occur by installing grab bars near the toilet, as well as inside and outside of the tub.
2. Make the shower and tub safer
Install non-skid mats on the shower or tub floor.
You might also consider a shower stall that eliminates the lip at the edge of the shower and uses a shower seat to lower the risk of a fall.
3. Make sure the floor is slip-proof
Carpeting the bathroom floor could be the safest option for seniors, but wall-to-wall carpeting in the bathroom can also harbor dangerous mold and mildew.
Compromise by using non-skid area rugs and ensuring the edges are not frayed or damaged. Wipe up any spills on hard surfaces immediately to prevent slipping.
4. Install a raised toilet seat
A raised toilet seat, like the kind you may find in handicapped bathrooms, can make it easier for seniors to get up and down. Installing one in your senior loved one’s home reduces the chance of a fall in this high-risk area.
5. Make sure the bathroom has adequate lighting
Falls often occur when we can’t see properly. This problem can be compounded in seniors with glaucoma or cataracts, both of which can make a space look darker than it really is.
Ensure the bathroom has adequate lighting. Consider installing an illuminated light switch that makes it easy to turn on overhead lights, even in the middle of the night. Or place bathroom lights on motion sensors so they turn on the second someone enters the room.
6. Use contrasting colors
While stark white fixtures on white tiles walls may look pristine and beautiful, contrasting colors make it easier to avoid accidents. Choose a brightly colored shower curtain that is different from the walls and easy to spot. Use different color tiles for the shower threshold than the floor.
Stay Safe at Five Star Senior Living
From the ground up, Five Star Senior Living communities are designed with safety and comfort features for seniors. The environment helps to prevent falls in the bathroom and all throughout the community.
Schedule a private tour of one of our communities to learn more today!