Are Bathroom Grab Bars Essential For Our Aging Family?
Bathroom Safety is Crucial for Older Adults
Bathrooms are dangerous places– according to the Home Safety Council, over one quarter of all accidents that take place in the home occur in bathrooms. For senior citizens, that proportion is even higher- in 2008, more than one third of household accidents requiring emergency room visits for persons 65 or older took place in the bathroom. Even popular television commercials remind us of how dangerous bathrooms can be– if you’re ever watched a game show, chances are you’ve seen Life Alert’s commercial featuring an aging woman who has “fallen, and can’t get up.” When aging bodies get injured, they may never heal to the same level of fitness and physical ability that they had before the accident– so preventing an accident in your home is critical if you want to maintain independence for you or your loved ones as they age.
Grab Bars Benefit Everyone!
Although grab bars still have a long way to go before they’re loved and accepted as decorative accent pieces for your bathroom, everyone can enjoy the enhanced safety and convenience that well-installed grab bars afford. There are times when everyone can use a place to grab onto in a bathroom- ceramic and acrylic tub or shower surfaces are hard, and become slippery when wet. An accident as trivial as dropping a bar of soap can pave the way for a potentially harmful fall, no matter how fit you are. Bath grab bars give you place to reach out and hold your weight when your feet slip out from beneath you. Nobody wants to be in a position where they need to rely on a safety grab bar, but it’s always better to be prepared and have your bathroom equipped with adequate safety equipment.
Use at Least 3 Grab Bars for Maximum Safety and Convenience
If you want to make your bathroom the safest it can be, you should use a combination of grab bars, textured floor surfaces, and shower seats/bath lifts to reduce the risk of falling. But there are ways you can maximize the effectiveness of grab bars alone- you just need to position them properly. You should begin by having one grab bar outside the bathtub or shower, where you or your loved one undresses before bathing. This will give him or her a place to steady themselves while taking off clothing, in case spilled water or condensation makes your bathroom floor slippery. Second, you should place a grab bar on one of the side walls of your bathtub or shower stall; this bar should be placed at an angle, and will provide your loved ones with a place to steady themselves as they enter the tub or shower.
Finally, you should have a grab bar running along the back of your bathtub or shower stall; this bar serves primarily as a place to reach out to in case of an accident. There are additional safety measures you can take to make bathing even safer for elderly members of your household- you can, for instance, invest in a walk in bathtub or walk in shower, which would eliminate the barrier between the tub and the rest of the bathroom and reduce the risk posed by stepping over the tub’s or shower’s edge. With the American population growing older, on average, every year, many businesses have begun to cater to the needs of elderly consumers who want to age gracefully in their own homes.