In January, we celebrate new beginnings, new goals and bathroom safety! That’s right – it’s National Bathroom Safety Month, and we cannot emphasize enough just how important it is to stay safe in this part of the house! Each year, one in three Americans over the age of 65 experience a fall, and of those, 80 percent are in the bathroom. Below are a few tips and hints on how you can stay safe in the bathroom:
- Leave the door unlocked
If you do experience a fall and the door is left unlocked, it will be easier for your loved ones to come help you. If you are worried about privacy, hang an “occupied” sign outside when you are using it. Another thing to consider is getting a locked elevated toilet seat. It makes standing and sitting easier, and reduces the risk of having a fall in the first place.
- Be cautious around steam
When taking a hot bath or shower, steam can quickly build up, making the floors and surfaces slick and dangerous. The best way to combat steam is to have a bath safety mat inside the tub, and a secure bathroom rug on the floor outside of it. You also want to have the vent running (if you have one) and keep the door open a crack to let the steam out.
- Hand towel racks are not grab bars
The same bar that holds your light towels is not going to be able to support your weight. Many people are tempted to grab ahold of them as they get in and out of the shower, but we recommend you invest in a safety grab bar instead. It’s a rather nasty shock when a towel rack breaks in your hand and you fall to the floor!
- Dry off before exiting the tub
This means less water on the floor, thus less chance of you slipping. This is when a bath or shower chair can come in handy. Not only does it mean you can sit down while showering (which is great when you have limited mobility) it also makes it easier to dry off prior to stepping out of the shower.