Most falls occur at home
Women and people aged 85 and older are most likely to be injured
There is a much higher chance of suffering a fall injury in the bathroom compared to the living room.
Safety modifications such as grab bars, shower chairs, bath mats and raised toilet seats lower the risk of fall and injury
Bathroom visits should be assisted, if possible
Aging is a fact of life, but falls and trauma do not have to be. If you adhere to the following 5 to prevent a life-changing or life-ending fall injury, you or your loved ones will likely live a longer and healthier life.
1. Avoid unsupervised bathroom visits.
Because bathroom falls are so dangerous, it is better to stay out of the bathroom altogether. A commode enables toileting at the bedside, without the risky trip to the restroom full of hard surfaces and shark corners. A shampoo basin can help wash a person's hair while they are in bed. It is even possible to give someone a bed bath.
That said, if a visit to the bathroom is required, it is safer to make it an assisted visit.
2. Use maximum assistive technology.
Durable medical equipment (DME) is available to help with the following:
- Stability (cane, walker, grab bar)
- Bathing (shower chair, bathtub transfer bench)
- Toileting (commode, raised toilet seat, toilet seat frame)
- Mobility (wheelchair, lift)
- Impact reduction (floor safety mat)
- Slipping prevention (non-slip socks, bath mat)
This equipment is available at reasonable prices, and the expenses it prevents are enormous. For example, dealing with a hip fracture could cost over $ 50,000 and a fall is preventable with a $79 shower chair. This is not even a choice!
3. Increase visibility and accessibility
Installing night lights to illuminate the walkway from the bedroom to the bathroom reduces the chance of a fall or injury.
Placing commonly used items within easy reach in bathrooms will reduce the need to shift one's center of gravity, also lessening the likelihood of a fall. Have soap, shampoo, conditioner and towels within easy reach.
Remove any items that create tripping hazards. Also consider installing a walk-in shower or walk-in bathtub to prevent tripping over the side of the tub.