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Providing A Safe Bathroom For Seniors

Nov 25, 2007
Eighty-seven percent of all fractures in senior citizens over the age of sixty-five years of age are caused by falls. Twenty percent of deaths related to injuries are the result of accidental falls. These accidents cause fear of further falls, pain, permanent disabilities, and the loss of independence and dignity.

With more than one-half of all accidents occurring in the home, and most of those in the bathroom, the statistics demand that we take every precaution to avoid the types of injuries sustained by the elderly in their homes.

A safer environment is an absolute necessity to maintain the health and well-being of those at greatest risk. Providing a safer bathroom is not excessively costly and can be completed in a relatively short amount of time.

Any rug without a rubber back should be removed and replaced with skid-proof rubber backed rugs to ensure footing. This is especially important in the bathtub and sink areas. The tub or shower should have slip-proof strips installed.

Grab bars must be installed in areas where they would be of the most use, such as near and in the tub and beside the toilet. Rubber coated or textured grab bars are the safest, as they provide a tighter grip.

A special toilet seat is available in any store that provides equipment for the handicapped. This seat is much thicker and raises the seat up several inches. Maintaining their balance is much easier when they do not have to sit and rise from a low place.

There has been an increasing incidence of accidental drug overdose in seniors resulting in serious injuries and sadly, even fatalities. This is often caused by a person forgetting that they have already taken their medication or they take a medication thinking it is something else. All medications, even over-the-counter medicine, should be locked up where they can not be accessed without assistance.

Another cause for concern is when a senior locks the bathroom door. While it is very important that they maintain their privacy and dignity, it is dangerous when they fall and the family is unable to reach them due to a locked door.

A system must be worked out so that their privacy is protected, while at the same time assistance is not delayed while someone hunts for a key or the lock is broken to gain access.

With a few preventative measures any home can be made safe for a senior and allows them to remain at home with family for a much longer period of time.
About the Author
Dror Klar is an advocate and writer about senion citizen safety. learn more about his new
walk in tubs and learn how walk in bath tubs may save a senior from being crippled or even death.
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