If you or someone you love struggles with mobility or balance problems, you likely understand the fear and frustration that accompany seemingly ordinary activities. According to insurance experts, the bathroom is the most dangerous room in the home.
The nature of the bathroom, slippery surfaces, accumulated water, and the need to step in and out of tubs and shower stalls combine to make ordinary activities dangerous.
A startling 80 per cent of all household accidents happen in the bathroom. The vast majority of these accidents are falls, and they account for 50 per cent of injury-related deaths each year. The World Health Organisation published these eye-opening statistics regarding falls.
- 684 000 individuals die from falls globally
- Adults older than 60 years of age suffer the greatest number of fatal falls worldwide.
- Around the world, there are 37.3 million falls that are severe enough to require medical attention occur each year.
How Can the Statistics Change?
Looking at these frightening statistics, you have to wonder how bathrooms can be made safer. Several things can improve the safety of bathrooms, especially for those who are mobility challenged or elderly.
1. A Bath Seat – Adding a non-slip bath seat can make a massive difference for someone who struggles to enter and exit the bathtub. Bath seats allow the user to sit in a normal position before swinging their legs into the tub. This eliminates the dangers of stepping into and out of the tub. Bath seats come in several styles. Some are mobile and can be moved in and out of the tub as needed. Other types are less like seats and more like benches going the width of the bathtub.
A walk-in shower can also become safer when a shower/bath seat is added. For a person who experiences weakness or dizziness, a bath seat reduces the chances of falling by offering a safe place to sit. Built-in shower/bath seats are another excellent option. They are fixed to the wall and very robust. Professional installation is the best way to add a built-in shower/bath seat.
2. Grab Rails – Sometimes, a simple grab rail is the difference between falling and safely getting in or out of the bathtub. These are ideal for those who struggle with balance or need extra support pulling themselves up or lowering into the tub. Professional installation is necessary because the best grab rails are bolted to the wall. Having a mobility expert assess movement makes grab bars even more helpful because they can be placed where they offer the most assistance.
3. Non-slip Bathmats – Adding a non-slip bathmat is a cost-effective way to keep those with mobility and balance difficulties safe in the bath or shower. The textured surface of these mats will eliminate the slippery surfaces in tubs and showers. The bathmats stay in place because of moulded suction cups on the underside of the mat. While these are great for the elderly or mobility challenged to stand on, non-slip bathmats are available for use on bath seats and bath benches.
While these bathmats are typically inexpensive, be sure to check the underside to make sure the suction cups are sturdy. Flimsy suction cups can suddenly lose their grip and move. This creates the dangerous situation you want to prevent. For a more precise solution, professional accessibility experts can install textured surfaces allowing you to forego the tub mat
4. Height Adjustable Detachable Shower Head – An adjustable, detachable showerhead is a must for those using a bath seat or bathing in the tub. Being able to move the shower spray where it is most useful eliminates extra movement while in the tub. This type of shower head is also helpful for those who can stand to shower. Bringing the water closer makes the process faster and easier. Additionally, caregivers can use these to help rinse away shampoo and conditioner. Directing the water spray also keeps water inside the tub and prevents slips and falls.
It is easy to become overwhelmed when you start learning about potential safety hazards lurking in your bathroom, as well as the numerous options available to improve safety in your bathroom. If you would like some guidance from professionals, contact Perth’s Exclusive Disabled Accessibility Experts, AccessAble Home Modifications.
Our team members are happy to speak with you and answer any questions. Additionally, you can schedule an in-home safety audit where our accessibility experts can check your home for areas that could be safety concerns. They can come up with a plan to make you as safe as possible in your own home.
Don’t let an unsafe bathroom rob you of your independence. Contact AccessAble Home Modifications and begin your home transformation soon.