Bathtime Safety Tips from Our Personal Care Assistants
How could something that’s so comforting and relaxing, like a nice, warm bath, be one of the greatest dangers to older adults? The truth is, combining smooth surfaces, slippery shampoo and very warm water creates the perfect storm for a fall risk – one of the most serious risks to older persons.
January is set aside as National Bath Safety Month, and it’s a great time for both education and assessment to make sure your senior loved ones’ bathroom environments are as safe as possible. Our personal care assistants have compiled some helpful information and tips to help senior caregivers in LaGrange, IL and the surrounding area create safer bathtime routines.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that around 370 people of all ages suffer bathtub or shower-related accidents every single day in America. Because most falls in the home take place in the bathroom, AARP recommends taking the following safety measures:
- Put in grab bars for the toilet, shower, and tub
- Install non-skid tile or use non-skid bath mats
- Set the temperature of the home’s hot water heater to 120 degrees F or lower to prevent scalds
- Provide a transfer bench so the senior can get in and out of the bathtub if vulnerable to falling when stepping over the side of the tub
- Provide a bath chair to enable bathers to sit while bathing
- Apply no-slip strips to the bathtub and shower floor, or provide a slip-resistant mat
- Wipe up any water spills on the floor immediately
It’s also a wise decision to consider whether it might be worthwhile for a senior to utilize a mobile commode, which may be put at a bedside to ease nighttime restroom requirements. Bedside commodes can lessen the risk of evening falls, and can also be placed directly over the toilet, which is generally sturdier than a raised toilet seat. Features to look for when buying a commode:
- Non-removable armrests
- Rubber tips on the legs as opposed to wheels
- A frame that is sturdy
- Both a pail (with lid) and a sleeve (for use over the toilet)
Simple, basic commodes can cost anywhere between $60 and $250, although more complex, specialized commodes, such as those with tilting mechanisms, can run as high as $3,000.
AARP also provides a handy bathroom checklist with design recommendations that can help seniors and their families make the most appropriate home modification decisions.
Home & Hearth Caregivers’ personal care assistants can also help with bathroom safety for older adults. We can provide an in-home safety assessment and guidelines, and by providing expert, hands-on support at bathtime, can help ensure that seniors stay safe throughout all of their bathroom needs. Our personal care is always delivered with the utmost respect and regard for dignity and privacy. Contact us at 800-349-0663 to find out more about our senior care services in the Chicago and LaGrange areas.