Up to 80% of falls in the home are in the bathroom. Anyone can stumble and fall in the bathroom but having poor muscle strength and balance is strongly associated with increased risk. If you have a history of falls, the risk is even greater.
According to a 2011 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 200,000 Americans are treated in emergency departments for bathroom-related injuries annually.
Protect yourself and your family by following these tips....
Ditch your throw rugs. These slippery floor coverings are the No. 1 cause of household falls. If you just can't part with them in the bathroom, secure loose rugs with double-faced tape, tacks or slip-resistant backings.
Your bathroom should be adequately lit during the day. At night, put a nightlight on the path to the bathroom. Within the bathroom, use a nightlight, or install an illuminated switch.
Be sure to keep the tub clean to counteract slippery soap scum or mold.
Keep the bathroom floor dry, making sure it has no water on it. A weighted shower curtain will help ensure that no water leaks onto the floor.
Place grab bars or rails in or around the bathtub, shower and toilet. When installed properly and securely, they’ll help you balance as you stand or sit and give you something to hold on to if you do slip. They come in a variety of lengths, textures and styles. (DO NOT use towel racks as grab bars. They can't support your weight). You will need a minimum of 2 grab bars: one to help you get in and out of the tub, and another to help you stand from a sitting position. These grab bars should be secured vertically or horizontally to the wall, not diagonally.
Equip your shower with a handheld shower head. You can maneuver it where you want it, minimizing your movement in the shower. Also, you can use it while sitting safely on your bath seat or bench.
|Take your time. The more you rush, the more likely you are to fall.|