Pop quiz! Which room is the most dangerous in terms of falling: the living room or the bathroom? Well, actually that’s a trick question since the answer is not so simple. Statistics show that most falls occur in the living room, but collapsing in the bathroom leads to more severe injuries and often ends up in the hospital.
In the bathroom the already narrow interior is packed with hard surfaces, like the sink, the washing machine or the edge of the bathtub where people can easily hit their limbs or head. And don’t forget about the potential for sharp objects, slippery floors or hazardous cleaning chemicals! In short, you must know the dangers lurking in the bathroom in order to prevent them from happening.
1. Install Items That Protect From Falling
Bathroom falls are a well-researched topic with a long list of safety equipment that could protect the elderly residents. Non-skid mats for the floor and the shower are a good start, since they are cost-effective and easy to place. An alternate solution could be a special bath tub or shower treatment spray that creates an anti-slip coating on the surface.
A step up from these solutions is the grab bar. Experts have come up with numerous effective formations for the installation, but the general rule is that the more grab bars you have the better. They can be placed next to the toilet as well.
Many seniors find it more efficient to shower while seated, so it might be good to consider shower benches. They come in many shapes and forms, but their overall goal is to spare the aging homeowners from the potential risk that comes from the wet and slippery base of the shower.
2. Lock Away the Medicine
Don’t forget that the bathroom poses dangers not only to the frail old senior, but also to their visiting grandchildren, which can end up in medication poisoning. Aging adults who live independently or with their spouse became used to different pills and open bottles lying around the house. However, a visiting minor can easily think that it’s candy or vitamins. It’s said that in the U.S. alone over 1.5 million poisonings happen a year because of misused prescriptions.
But locking away all the medicine in a cupboard isn’t the best solution, since it makes taking their pills inconvenient for the seniors – and in many cases this is a requirement multiple times a day. And since having their medication out of plain sight might cause them to forget to take them at all, it’s recommended that you purchase a medication reminder that doubles as a dispenser.
For example, Philips Lifeline offers a model that’s capable of housing a month’s worth of medicine and dispenses up to six times per day, preventing any unwanted mix-ups. The device is fitted with a tamper-proof lock that prevents kids and desperate seniors from messing with it, too. As the cherry on top, the reminder is connected to the company’s monitoring service and agents will contact the owner if they miss too many occasions.
3. Skip on Household Chores
Another reason for falling in the bathroom is because seniors are performing some household work. Making a wrong move on the freshly mopped floor can be lethal, while hunching over the bucket to dip the brush in often leads to severe back pains. They should either switch to cleaning equipment that doesn’t leave large puddles of water, or invest into a cleaning robot capable of mopping for the owner.
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