The bathroom can be a dangerous place for older people, especially those who are quite frail or suffer from medical conditions. Slippery bathroom surfaces increase the risk of falls. In addition, climbing out of the shower or bath can sometimes feel precarious. However, staying safe in the bathroom needn't be hard.
As we know already, falls are the most common cause of injury related deaths in people over the age of 75. In fact, according to the NHS, around one in three adults over 65 who live at home will have at least one fall a year.
You may have seen our top tips for older people to follow when it comes to staying safe at home. Today's article focuses on staying safe in the bathroom and the things that you can do to lower the risk of an accident.
Here are 5 ways of staying safe in the bathroom.
1. Install Grab Rails
As you get older, you may begin to struggle with your balance. Installing grab rails around your bathroom should be the first step you take to protect yourself. There are several types to choose from, each of which can help you in different ways.
You can buy grab rails which attach to the wall or ones which attach to your bath or shower. All grab rails should be installed in places that you can reach easily, without having to overstretch. It's very important that the fixings are strong and secure. You may need to consult a tradesperson to check that your walls are strong enough to hold them.
We advise that you install grab rails around your bath or shower and beside your toilet, so that you can sit down and stand back up with ease after using the bathroom.
2. Install a Shower Seat
Some older people may struggle to stand for long periods of time due to balance and muscle problems. For this reason, taking a shower can become a pain. Shower chairs are a great solution to this problem.
By installing a shower seat you can enjoy all the benefits of the shower, without having to stay standing up throughout. A shower seat provides you with stability and a place to rest at the same time.
When purchasing a shower seat you should ensure that the legs have rubber tips, as these will provide non-slip grip. Ensure that you use the grab rails previously mentioned in this article to help you get up from your shower seat.
3. Buy a Rubber Bath Mat
A slippery bath tub can cause problems for people of all ages, but the risk of a fall increases with age. There is a simple way to make getting in and out the bath tub easier, and that is by having a rubber bath mat.
By simply placing the bath mat on the floor of your bath tub you are bypassing the slip hazard. You will be able get in and out of the bath with a lower risk of losing your footing. There are plenty of rubber bath mats available, in different colours and styles, so that you can pick the one that matches your bathroom.
Rubber shower mats are also now available for those who have a separate shower cubicle.
4. Install a Walk-In Bath
We know that a rubber bath mat can reduce the risk of slipping whilst getting in and out of the bath. However, some older people can struggle with climbing over the side of the bath and sitting down in the tub.
A walk-in bath tub removes this issue. These baths feature a door within the sidewall, which allows you to simply walk into your bath tub. There is no need to climb over the side of the bath anymore. Most models have a small step of around four or five inches as you walk through the door.
Most models also feature built-in seats, another great way of staying safe in the bathroom. These eliminate the need to lower yourself all the way to the floor of the tub. Some models also have stability bars built-in. These are great to hold onto as you sit up and get out of the tub.
5. Wear your MyAmie Pendant
The MyAmie Pendant has a great feature that makes it a perfect inclusion in this article: it's waterproof! This means that you can keep it on whilst you take a relaxing shower or bath. As we all know, getting in and out of the bathroom can be tricky due to the slippery conditions. It can also be difficult if you suffer from certain medical conditions such as arthritis.
Fortunately, with a MyAmie Pendant, you can call for help if you have a fall in the bathroom. Simply press the red button and our Response Team will receive an alert call immediately. They will initially try to speak with you over the alarm's base unit. Don't worry if your bathroom is too far away for you to hear them; the Response Team will automatically call for your emergency contacts and the emergency services if they don't hear a response from you.
In a matter of minutes, help will be on its way to you. On the other hand, without a pendant, it could be that you are left injured on the floor for hours.
Falls are the most common cause of injury related deaths in people over the age of 75. In fact, according to the NHS, around one in three adults over 65 who live at home will have at least one fall a year.
For additional peace of mind, you may want to consider purchasing a fall detector plan. This version of our pendant alarm activates automatically if you experience a sudden fall.
Staying Safe in the Bathroom - Other Quick Tips
Alongside our top 5 ways of staying safe in the bathroom, there are a few other things that may help to keep you safe in and around the bathroom. The first thing would be to make sure that the essential items in your bathroom are within easy reach.
Keep your shower essentials within arm's reach so you don't need to overstretch or bend down in order to reach them. There are plenty of suction cup shelves that you can install to help you with this.
Another quick tip would be to ensure that your bathroom has adequate lighting. Poor visibility, especially during the night, can increase the risk of a fall. You'll also need to ensure that the pathway from your bathroom to your bedroom is well lit. A nightlight is a good way to ensuring that there is always a light on during the night.
For more information on purchasing one of our life-saving personal alarms, please speak to one of our friendly advisors on 0800 999 0400. Alternatively, complete our Contact Us form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
When you're ready, you can order your new Lifeline alarm online today.
Editor's Note: This article was updated on 23rd February 2022 to reflect current information.