12 Dec 2017

The Importance Of Bathroom Safety For Seniors

The Importance Of Bathroom Safety For Seniors

According to NHS Choices, statistics show that one of the most common places where seniors fall is in the bathroom. With one in three over 65 year-olds suffering a serious fall that causes injury or even death - every hour an older person dies as a result of hip fracture from a fall. On average, every minute six older people suffer a fall.

Did you know that after a fall, seniors have a 50% chance of losing their mobility, which can have serious consequences on their quality of life? Then there is the fact that one in ten seniors who have had a fall loses their confidence and becomes scared to leave their home, in case they should fall again. This causes isolation and loneliness, as well as a lack of independence.

There is a range of reasons, and a combination of factors, why people fall in later life. One of the most common causes of falls in later life is the natural deterioration of muscle tone and strength over time, combined with poorer eyesight which is also associated with the ageing process. These two issues can cause balance problems, as well as issues with walking and stepping.

According to the NHS, six out of 10 falls happen in the home or garden, however, the most common place at home to fall is in the bathroom. This is because bathrooms tend to have wet and slippery surfaces, loose mats and flooring, and steps in and out of showers or baths. Having to bend over to clean or wash, and having to use the bathroom at night in lower light levels, makes the bathroom a potentially hazardous space.

The good news is that most elderly care experts believe that most falls in the bathroom can be prevented by making some small changes to the layout of the bathroom and the person’s lifestyle. This includes updating the bathroom to make it a less hazardous space, and implementing regular strength and balance exercises for seniors, to help improve their balance and steadiness, as well as encouraging them to get more regular eye tests to ensure that their vision is as clear as possible, making hazards more visible.

At CLH, we believe that we can help to eliminate the risk of falls in the bathroom by offering a range of innovative products that have been designed for making trips and falls much less likely and the bathroom a much safer place.

How can we make bathrooms safer places for seniors?

Before we dive into the best products for making bathrooms safer, let’s discuss the other ways that you can make bathrooms safer places to be:

  • High wattage light bulbs should always be used, so that it is much easier to see hazards clearly, even at night.
  • All clutter should be removed, along with trailing wires and frayed carpets and rugs.
  • Any spillages should be mopped up immediately to prevent slips.
  • Non-slip rugs and bath and shower mats should always be used to help reduce the risk of falls even further.
  • Soap, shampoo, conditioner, and other bathroom essentials should be stored at low levels and within easy reach.
  • Ask the doctor to review medications and ensure that none of the cause dizziness.
  • Get vision checked twice a year, to ensure that they are seeing as clearly as possible.

What are the pieces of equipment that can help to reduce the risk of trips and falls for seniors?

Aquatec Orca Bathlift: The Aquatec Orca is a superior quality and durable bath lifter that is designed to offer comfort, safety and reassurance to those most in need of support as they bathe. The Orca incorporates increased leg room, ease of disassembly and an ergonomic, floating hand control that contains the lightweight battery. The Orca has an impressive weight limit of 144kg (22st) as standard.

Static Shower Chair: This comfortable shower chair features a supportive backrest and fixed armrests for additional safety when showering. Available as a height adjustable option that enables the user to adjust the seat to the preferred position. Holes in the seat enable speedy water drainage. The plastic coated steel frame is finished with slip-resistant rubber ferrules.

Mangar Bath Cushion: The Bathing Cushion is ideal for those who have difficulty getting in and out of the bath and perfect if they have reasonable upper body stability. Lowers the patient down and raises them back up again - all at the touch of a button.

Devon Floor Mounted Folding Grab Rail: An adjustable height, folding grab rail which is mounted on a floor fixing post for versatility in positioning.

Dual Rotating Suction Grab Rail: A suction cup grab rail that provides removable support for in the shower. Quick and easy to put in place, this grab rail is ideal for travelling with.

Mowbray Toilet Seat and Frame: A high raised toilet seat frame which has a wide, strong and sturdy frame that offers high levels of support and an ergonomically designed seat.

For seniors, trips and falls can have a devastating impact on their confidence and quality of life. That is why, wherever possible, it is so crucial to ensure that their bathrooms are as safe and free from hazards as possible.

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