7 Ways to Prevent Falls and Injuries in the Bathroom
Updated: Oct 29, 2019
Accidental falls are the leading cause of injury in adults over the age of 65, according to the AARP. While many accidents occur on the staircase or in the kitchen, the second-highest percentage of injuries occurs in the bathroom at 80%. 1 in 3 seniors will take a fall this year, but the chances of your loved one falling and getting hurt are much lower if you take a few simple precautions to keep them safe while they're in the bathroom. Here are a few facts about bathroom injuries along with a handy list of things you can do to make the bathroom a safer place for your loved one:
Facts about bathroom injuries in adults over 65 years of age
- The bathroom is the second-most dangerous room in the house for seniors.
- Almost 80% of injuries in the bathroom are the result of slipping and falling.
- 1/3 of all bathroom accidents result in a trip to the emergency room.
- 70% of ordinary bathrooms have unsafe features for seniors, including towel bars, sliding shower doors, and tub seats.
- 2/3 of all bathroom injuries occur while in the shower or tub. Only about 2% of all injuries occur while getting in or out of the tub.
What you can do to prevent bathroom injuries at home
- Get a taller toilet seat to make it less of a work out getting up or down from the toilet
- Install a bidet to help prevent injuries due to twisting or jerking the body around to wipe
- Install handrails near the toilet to make getting up and down easier
- Use non-slip floor mats only
- Change bathroom light bulbs to brighter lights, add nightlights, and use motion-detecting lights that turn on and off automatically.
- Mount PERS devices (like our Emergency Wall Communicator) near the tub and toilet
- Keep a spare medical alert pendant in the bathroom
- Replace towel bars near the tub or shower with handrails to make getting in and out of the tub easier.
- Add non-slip grippers or a no-slip mat on the bathtub or shower floor
- Use a sturdy plastic seat in the shower or tub to help bathe in the seated position.
- Add a hand-held shower nozzle to the bathtub or shower to make it easy to shower sitting down.
- Install a special shower or tub for seniors with limited mobility
Things your loved one can do:
- Stay active and practice light exercise whenever possible
- Do yoga to practice stability and keep joints loose and flexible
- Wear non-slip shoes and glasses around the house
- Clean up spills promptly
- Talk to your doctor if any of your medicines make you feel unsteady, confused, disoriented, or dizzy upon standing. You may require a different prescription with fewer side effects.