The bathroom is without a doubt the most common place for slips and falls, with seniors naturally having the highest risk.  And it is no wonder!  The bathroom has a combination of small awkward spaces, potentially slippery surfaces, and balance-challanging daily tasks.  Fortunately, many of these falls are preventable with 3 essential alterations.

To make some of these modifications you may need to be in touch with your local pharmacy or home healthcare store, and/or your local handyperson. A physiotherapist or occupational therapist is another fantastic resource for home safety modifications.

Grab bars: 

With declining balance, many seniors start to use towel bars and soap dishes to steady themselves.  This is a MAJOR no-no.  These fixtures are not intended to support your weight, and if they give way, unfortunately, so will you.

Instead, grab bars and handrails are simple to install beside the toilet and inside the shower or tub.

Take a seat: 

  • It can be difficult to get up from low toilets, leading to awkward leaning and reaching.  Instead, purchase a raised toilet seat that fits easily onto your existing toilet.
  • If you have difficulty with losing your balance or feeling fatigued in the bath or shower, use a specially designed shower chair or bath bench.

Consider the floor: 

  • Wipe up puddles of water immediately.
  • Ensure bathroom rugs and mats are non-slip. As bathmats get older, the rubber backing can lose its “stick” and should be replaced.
  • A nonslip rubber mat should be placed on the floor of the tub or shower. Alternately, apply no-slip appliqués directly to the surface of the tub.

With these 3 basic considerations, you can significantly reduce the risk of falls in the most dangerous room in the house for yourself or a loved one.  Share your tips in the comments below, and visit the blog Friday for home safety suggestions for the kitchen!