Did you know that the smallest room in your house can also be the most dangerous? Yes, we’re talking about your bathroom. According to the Center for Disease Control, about 235,000 injuries a year occur as a result of a falling in the bathroom. These injuries are serious enough to send these individuals to the emergency room and often admittance to the hospital.
The bathroom is dangerous because we know there is water around sinks and tubs or showers. Keeping the floor dry is a must so we don’t slip and fall. You can use bathmats, but they need to be absorbent and have a rubber backing so that they don’t move. We don’t want them to become a fall hazard!
Grab bars are very necessary for the shower and tub area. As we grow older it is best to shower because the act of stepping over the side of a tub is a huge fall risk as is getting in and out of the tub. A vertical bar should be just outside of your shower so that you can hold onto it as you step in. A horizontal bar should be against the back wall of the stall so you can again use it to hold steady. If you are at all unsteady, use a shower chair to sit in while showering. Use a handheld shower head rather one that is stationary so you can down to your body. There are nonslip surfaces that can be applied to the floor of your shower/bath as well to prevent slipping.
Consider a grab bar next to your toilet for safety. Many people fall around the toilet and suffer injury. If you have a low toilet you can get an elevated seat to attach, or removable arms that fit right onto your toilet to help you lower and raise yourself.
If you are getting up at night to use the bathroom, keep a flashlight by the side of your bed to light your way. Also, make sure when you stand up from your bed that you stand slowly and stay in place for a few seconds so you can gain your balance before moving. We are sleepy, and often have taken medication that may have us in a fog.
Slow and steady is the key! Lastly keep towels, shoes, and clothing off the floor so that they don’t become tripping hazards. We want to keep you safe and sound!