A bathroom is regarded as one of the hazardous destinations of seniors for the ground that fatal injuries are common for seniors. Therefore, it requires executing bathroom safety tips for making bath safety for the elderly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seniors the age above 85, have a higher injury risk in the bathroom. The risk of falls in the bathroom mainly occurs due to the slippery bathtub floors and showers, the low height of the toilet, and slippery floor tiles in the bathroom. However, the risk of bathroom injury can be reduced by taking some environmental modifications. For instance, using anti-slip bath tub mats, installing grab bars both inside and outside of the bathtub. Most of all, making seniors trained about using bathroom accessories can be reduced potential injuries. Especially, young members of the family should be super vigilant when it comes to hazardous activities in the bathroom.
Bathroom Accident among seniors: A Comprehensive Study
The research conducted by CDC in 2018 revealed that nearly 80% bathroom accident occurs due to falling in the flipperry floor. People with over 65 aged have the higher risk of injuries. Most of the injuries are fatal for the seniors and they have the highest fracture rates. The study conducted by CDC also found that 3 activities in the bathroom are extremely risky: showering, bathing, using the toilet, and walking in the bathroom. According to research, among the bathroom injuries, 37.3% (other than slippery) happened while bathing or showering. Elderly people sometimes get out of the bathtub or get into the bathtub. 17.3 % bathroom accident predominantly occurred due to the slippery. The research compiled by CDC demonstrated that 5.5% bathroom injuries occurred due to the loss of consciousness.
In accordance with a research conducted by the Home Safety Council, nearly 63% of homes of the United States use bath tub mats with the purpose of avoiding bathtub falls. The research also demonstrated that 19% of homes have grab bars in the bathroom. Bath room with grab bars and bath room without grab bars have a huge difference when it comes to the rate of accident. As the 14% of the injuries are connected with using the toilet, standing up or sitting down in the toilet, a grab bar can be great support for the elderly.
Most of the research with regard to bathroom injury among seniors consistently revealed that senior women are at higher injury risk compared their senior men counterpart. There are 5 reasons for the higher injury risk- comparatively weaker muscle strength, bone mass, female physical activity,
The Primary causes of Bathroom Injuries-
|Struck by or against||6.2|
|Cut or pierce||1.1|
|Fire or burn||0.6|
|Drowning or near drowning||—|
|Other or unspecified||1.2|
Part of body injured-
|Part of body injured||%|
|Head or neck||31.2|
|Leg or foot||17.4|
|Arm or hand||12.7|
|Other or unknown||0.3|
Injury locations for Bathroom Accident
|Bathtub or shower||68.3|
|Bathroom (not otherwise specified)||6.7|
Top Actionable Tips for reducing bathroom injury risk for seniors-
Below are the actionable tips for seniors to avoid accidents on the Bathroom-
Tips #1 Use Anti-Slip Shower Chair
It is an everyday activity to take a shower and bathing. Unfortunately, falling on the floor during bathing time is very common for elderly people. Indeed, seniors have minimal control over their body and that is why they frequently face an accident in the bathroom. Therefore, appropriate shower chairs should be installed in the bathroom with the purpose of ensuring shower safety. Additionally, sitting shower allows the seniors to be stable while bathing that prevents falls. Above all, bathing by sitting down rarely leads to bathroom injury. Importantly, you can find some shower chairs for elderly people that designed to take their safety into account. A recent study revealed that the shower chairs which are not anti-slip have a higher risk of falls. Therefore, by using non-slip swivel shower chairs for elderly, the high risk of bathroom injury can be reduced dramatically.
Tips #2 Add Grab Bars
The installation of bath safety bar like grab bar is inevitable in order to make the bathroom more senior-friendly. Grab bar is such a tool that can reduce the falling in the bathroom by a considerable portion. Grab bars are very essential to install for the reason that it helps seniors to grip when it comes to getting off and on the toilet or moving out and in the bathtub. What’s more, grab bars can be a great help as elderly can find it effortlessly next to him.
Tips #3 Make Sure the Floor is Clean
It is essential to keep the floor clean to prevent falls on the floor. The bathroom floor gets slippery if the floor doesn’t clean for a long period. Therefore, it is essential to address the issue with the purpose of reducing the risk of falling.
Tips #4 Add toilet Riser
Toilet with low seating is highly hazardous for the elderly as it increases the possibility of falling on the floor. Toilet riser turns out to be a wonderful bathroom safety tool for seniors that allows them to boost the toilet height and reduce the risk. Toilet seat riser is especially helpful for the people having issues with getting up and bending down. Seat risers are in different shapes like oval and round. Moreover, it comes with a variety of heights that can be rise by 2-inch to 5-inch toilet riser for the maximum comfort of users. To sum up, grab bars should also be added with the toilet seat riser in order to provide further assistance.
Tips #5 Make Sure Ample Lighting in the Toilet
There are lots of reasons that impede bathroom safety for the elderly. One of the major issues that face seniors is of poor visibility. In this regard, proper lightning could ensure the safety of the elderly. Use nightlight on the way to the bathroom at night. Together with, ensure adequate lighting in the bathroom during the day. Ample lightening in the toilet allows finding if anything slippery on the floor which can be harmful. To sum up, ensuring proper lighting on the toilet is indispensable for the seniors having issues with poor visibility and balance sight.
Tips #6 Make Sure Hot Water Temperatures is not Harming to Elderly
With age, people start losing the sensitivity of the skin. Over time, the skin of aged people get thinner and the elderly people sometimes fail to notice the hot water. Thus, seniors often face skin burn due to hot water. So, it is essential to take a necessary measure for avoiding burning. The temperature of the hot water should be 120 F. at best that can be ensured by labeling taps.
Tips #7 Adding a walk-in bathtub
Sometimes obstacles in the bathroom become the biggest risk for seniors. So, by removing the risky items that are tripped over easily, bath safety for seniors can be ensured and risk can be minimized too. In this regard, adding a walk-in-bathtub or walk-in-shower can sort out the issue. However, be careful about introducing bathtub aids for elderly to avoid risks
Tips #8 Make Sure Bathing Items are Easily Reachable
There are many ways that lead injury to elderly people in the toilet. On some occasions, seniors face challenges to find necessary bathing items i.e. conditioner, shampoo, soap, towels, etc. And accident usually occurs when elders move in the bathroom for bathing items. Therefore, it is vital to make sure necessary bathing items are easily reachable to seniors so that they can less move in the bathroom.
Tip #9 Install a Bath Lift
Seniors seldom enjoy getting in and out of the bathtub. In this regard, installing a bath lift can remove the bar of enjoying in the bathroom for seniors. So, you can consider buying a bath lift for your loved one with the aim of reducing the possibility of slipping in the bathtub. Thus, using a lift for a bath can protect elderly people from injury.
Tip #10 Change Bathroom Doors
Make sure you have changed the bathroom door if it swings into the bathroom. By ensuring the fact that the bathroom door of elderly swing outward, emergency workers or caregivers can easily get into the bathroom in case fall occurs.
Tip #11 Installing an Adjustable Shower Head
Shower head is one of the most essential shower aids for seniors. It is common to elderly sitting in the shower that involves radical risks. An adjustable shower head allows the elderly to use it in accordance with their comfort. This is the right solution for sorting out the issue of fixing the shower height moving up or down. It also helps seniors to increase or decrease the height instantly and aim it to the specific muscles. The chief feature of adjustable shower head includes a sliding bars which aid seniors effortlessly adjust the shower through sliding it down or up the bar.
Tip #12 Aware your Elders to Be not Hurry at Bathroom
People are naturally hurry at toilet which is highly risky for elderly people. As the seniors are comparatively weak, a simple slip on the bath may bring a horrible consequence to their life. Therefore, train your seniors so that they remain cool while using the bathroom.
Tip #13 Add Anti-slip Bath Mats Outside Tubs
Falls and slips are the most frequent incident in the bathroom and elderly people are most vulnerable in this regard. So, it is important to make sure that the foot of your loved one is secure. Particularly, accidents in bathroom can take place at the twinkle of time when the bath mats are slippery. So, adding a anti-slip bath mat can help your seniors maintain their maintain their balance and prevent from falling while in the bathroom.
Tip #14 Encourage them Move on Their Own
It is widely noticed that elderly people take help from their relatives and that lead to bathroom accident. Therefore, specialists suggest that support should not be bestowed when the are not in a vulnerable situation.
Tip #15 Make Sure Bathroom Floor is Dry
Be sure to keep the floor of the bathroom dry enough in order to secure footing of elderly people. A bathroom with a wet floor is heavily vulnerable to seniors. So, strongly consider installing weighted shower curtain to avoid water leaks which is bar to a dry floor.
Tip #16 Keep the Bathtub Clean
Keeping the bathtub clean is highly essential for ensure a secure movement on the bathroom. For seniors, it is crucial to ensure a clean bathtub so that they can not face slippery there.
Tip #17 Buy a Non Slip Bathroom Slippers
For the elderly, slip-resistant slippers is highly essential with the purpose of preventing bathroom fall. It is inevitable non-slip slippers for elderly people with balance problems. When it comes to purchasing a slipper for the bathroom, make sure that it has supportive rubber outsoles and soft insoles as well. Having bought a pair of anti-slip toilet slippers can help your lovely seniors keep safe in the toilet.
Tip #18 Install Toilet Safety Frames
Installing a toilet safety frame allows elderly people during the use of toilet. Through introducing this safety frame, you can secure your seniors on bathroom. It is an adjustable frame which can be used in toilet with different width and heights based on suits of seniors.
Tip #19 Keep Scotch Gripping Tape in the Bathroom
For the purpose of securing hold of seniors in bars, scotch gripping tape is a must. Seniors can use the tape if their hands are oily or wet. Adding it to grab bars or handrails, elderly people make the grip strong enough which is crucial to avoid falling. Most importantly, while buying the tape, make sure that the scotch gripping tape is easily removable.
Tip #20 Location of the Bathroom
Bathroom location is very sensitive to the elderly people. It is widely recognized that most elderly people have issues with stairs. However, bungalow is the suitable place for seniors, though most of the people can not afford it. By the way, if your residence is in a multistorey, make sure that the bathroom is closer to your seniors’ bedroom.
Tip #21 Make a Separation Between Showers and Bathtubs
In order to make bathing safer to the seniors, make a separation between bathroom showers and bathtubs. Although, the combination of bathtub and shower is favourite, but it might bring trouble to the seniors.
Tip #22 Keep your Eyes and Ears Open
Bathroom is deemed as the most terrible place with its hard surfaces and slippery. Especially for the seniors who have already been lost strength and mobility, bathroom is the most vulnerable place to move.Therefore, without proper concentration about this dangerous thing, anything can happen with the twinkle of an eye.
Bathroom Injuries among elderly people has become a severe issue in recent years. With age, the body of seniors gets fragile and weak that leads to frequent falling on the floor. It is important to note that aged people naturally move the bathroom on a regular interval. Moreover, due to the frequent use of the bathroom, it remains wet most of the time and that increases falling in the bathroom. By the way, by introducing some handy bathroom equipment for the elderly, accident on toilet can be minimized significantly. Here, the current article dealt with bestowing a comprehensive guide to prevent the bathroom from falling for seniors. So, through putting all the above stated actionable safety tips into practice, you can help your seniors carry out their daily activities safely in the bathroom.
- Home Safety Council. State of home safety in America. Available at [Retrieved on 16 October 2020]
- Stevens JA, Sogolow ED. Gender differences for nonfatal unintentional fall-related injuries. Inj Prev 2020;11:115–9. [Retrieved on 16 October 2020]
- Macintyre S, Hunt K, Sweeting H. Gender differences in health: are things really as simple as they seem? Soc Sci Med 1996;42:617–24. [Retrieved on 16 October 20, 2021]
- Conley, Mikalela (2020). “CDC Report Shows Bathroom Injuries Cause Thousands of Visits to ER” [Retrieved on 16 October 2020]
Katy Berding Samuels
Katy, a professional and passionate caregiver, served a number of seniors get back to their normal life. She has also been helping the elderly citizen of Boston for the last 15 years.
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