January is National Bath Safety Month which means it’s a fantastic time to talk about how keep your senior loved one from falling in the bath. There are more than 36 million injuries from falls each year and a large portion of those falls happen to seniors. Seniors are more likely to fall in the bathroom than in any other room. And getting in and out of the bath tub is one of the most dangerous activities for seniors. But these tips can help seniors safely enjoy a bath:
Get Home Care
A home care provider can help prevent bath tub and shower falls by making sure that your senior loved one has the support they need to physically get in and out of the tub. Even seniors who are fairly steady on their feet can fall in the tub. Having someone there to help transfer your senior loved one to and from the tub minimizes the risk of falls. And a home care provider can also help your senior loved one dry off quickly, brush their hair, brush their teeth, and safely get dressed.
Install Grab Bars
It’s essential to have grab bars installed in various places throughout the bathroom including right by the tub. Seniors need grab bars to help them lower themselves into the tub and raise themselves out of the tub when they’re done bathing. Grab bars can also give a home care provider something to grab onto for stability when helping your senior loved one in and out of the tub. Grab bars are relatively easy to install but if your senior loved one’s bathroom is an odd shape you might want to have a contractor install the bars to make sure they are property anchored. A home care provider can also help you figure out where the best places to put grab bars are based on the size and shape of the bathroom.
Put Grip Tape On Grab Bars
You can make grab bars even more helpful by applying some grip tape to them. The grip tape will make it easier for seniors who have poor grip strength because of arthritis or other medical conditions to hold onto the bars without slipping. Grip tape can also be placed on other surfaces near the tub so that if your senior loved one reaches out they won’t have to worry about their hands losing traction on the smooth tile wall.
Put Anti-Slip Coating On The Tub Bottom
Your senior loved one probably already has anti-slip decals stuck to the bottom of the tub and those definitely can help give your senior loved one some stability. But an additional coat of anti-slip material on the bottom and the sides of the tub will make it easier for your senior loved one to stand up and get out of the tub. The anti-slip coating will also prevent your senior loved one from slipping down when they are in the tub and being unable to get themselves back up over the water.