Ten Bath Safety Tips for the Elderly

When it comes to taking a bath, many of give very little thought to safety. Not because bath safety is not important, but because it is either, something we take for granted or perhaps because we do not have any health needs that make it part of the thought process. However, if you or a loved one have health issues that make bathing dangerous, then it is likely you are aware of just how dangerous the traditional bath time can be.

Each year, more than four hundred individuals drown in the bath tub In addition, many thousands slip or fall which can lead to serious injuries. This is a good indicator that a room where for many represents tranquility, can be a frightening place many people. So, what can you do to make bath safety a priority? Here are ##tips to help.

1. Be sure the water heater temperature is no higher than 120 degrees. This will keep the water from being too hot and prevent burns. It should also be noted that keeping the water set at this temp is more cost effective, too.

2. When it comes to young children and the elderly, it is best to have some nearby, in the event of falling due to sudden loss of balance.

3. Make some basic remodels, especially in a home where there is an elderly person. Consider a walk in tub or shower stall that does not require one to step over a high edge. Add grab bars next to the commode and inside the shower/bath.

4. Install no-slip strips on the bottom of the tub; also, place a non-skid bathmat on the floor outside of the tub. Be especially sure that rugs are secure and that the corners cannot flip up. Tripping over throw rugs is the number one cause of household falls for senior citizens.

5. You may also want to install cushioned covers for the water faucet, to prevent injury should one bump their head while in the tub.

6. If you don’t already have one, swap the hot and cold faucets, for a single faucet to mix hot and cold water together easily, and more safely.

7. Install a bath or shower seat/bench in the tub, so you have a place to sit.

8. A handheld or adjustable shower head makes it possible to maneuver it where you need and minimizes the amount of movement in the shower.

9. Be sure there is plenty of lighting in the bathroom.

10. Don’t rush. Taking your time means you are less likely to trip and fall.

Bath safety is important at any age, but especially for the elderly. Talk to your doctor or a home improvement specialist to learn how to create a safe bathing environment.

Donna J. Seymour