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5 Tips on Bathroom Safety & Fall Prevention

5 Tips on Bathroom Safety & Fall Prevention

About a third of Canadians over 65 fall at least once each year. Falls account for 85% of injury-related hospitalizations among this age group and can result in issues such as chronic pain, fractures, increased risk of death, and decreased quality of life. And the most common place to fall? With its slippery, hard surfaces, the bathroom is the main culprit, with 70% of falls happening while getting in and out of the tub. The good news is, there are a lot of proactive steps you can take to decrease your risk of falling in the bathroom.

 

Install safety features

There are myriad items that can make your bathroom a safer place to be, many of which you can easily install yourself, such as:

 

Grab bars

Grab bars are strategically placed wherever you’re likely to lose your balance, such as in the shower, by the tub, and next to the toilet. They perform a dual function: giving you something to grip while moving about the bathroom and something to grab onto in case of a fall.

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Non-slip mats

These help give grip to slippy surfaces such as the inside of the shower and tub, as well as the floor next to the tub, sink, and toilet. They are preferable to fluffy mats, which can be a tripping hazard.

Shop non-slip mats >

 

Shower & Bathtub adjustable chair

Shower chairs help prevent slipping while in the shower and can prevent you from overexerting yourself. It’s best to opt for one with a non-slip seat and rubber tips on the feet.

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Bath transfer bench

These extend over the side of the bathtub so you can sit on the bench and swing your legs over the side without risk of losing your balance. 565

Shop bath transfer benches >

 

Raised toilet seat

Raised toilet seats reduce the effort needed to get on and off the toilet, helping prevent overbalancing.

Shop raised toilet seats >

 

Walk-in bathtub

This has a small door for getting in and out of the tub, reducing the risk of falling when climbing in. It also has a seat for easier bathing.

 

Removable showerhead

Removable showerheads make it easier to wash while sitting.

Shop removable showerheads >

 

 

Your local Wellwise by Shoppers location will be happy to help you with simple installations, while more extensive home modifications can be arranged through our Home Services team (only available in Ontario).

 

Improve accessibility

It’s not just what you install that can make your bathroom safer, it’s also about where you install it. Place shelves and cabinets at an easy-to-reach height so you don’t have to reach up or bend down to access toiletries.

 

Keep it clean

Soap scum can leave surfaces slippery, so be sure to regularly clean the floor, bathtub, shower, mats, and grab bars to remove any buildup. If you’re having trouble doing this yourself, consider asking a friend or family member or hiring a cleaner to come in every so often.

 

Light it up

Install nightlights in the bathroom, bedroom, and hallway so you don’t trip in the dark during nighttime visits to the bathroom.

 

Consider personal care

If you’ve taken these steps and are still concerned about falling in the bathroom, hiring someone to help you with personal care activities, such as washing and dressing, could be a good idea.

 

In case of a fall

It might give you more confidence to have a contingency plan in case of a fall. This might include rehanging your bathroom door, so it opens outwards instead of inwards. This way, someone coming to help will be able to get in even if you’re behind the door. It might also be a good idea to install an alarm you can pull or carry a pendant alarm which will notify a trusted friend or family member if you have a fall.

 

 

 

Resources

https://belvederehealthservices.com/belvedere-home-care/blog/safety-seniorspreventing-falls-bathroom 

https://www.completecare.ca/blog/safety/bathroom-safety-tips-seniors/ 

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/82-624-x/2014001/article/14010-eng.htm 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/falls-prevention-seniors-research-healthcare-injuries1.5012356

 

 

The information presented in this blog post is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this post as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for professional counseling care. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professionals.

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