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Making Bathing Safer for the Elderly

Thousands of seniors have to visit the emergency room every year due to injuries sustained in the bathroom, which is one of the most dangerous rooms for the ageing demographic. Fortunately, many of the risks associated with bathing can be prevented with these tips designed to increase safety for elderly adults.

Install Grab Bars

Having a place to grab onto can help your loved one stabilise his or her balance when getting in and out of the tub. However, it is important to make sure the bars are properly installed. Use wall anchors or solid screws instead of nails and periodically test the grab bars to make sure they hold up to an adult’s full weight.

Adjust the Water Temperature

The combination of thinner skin and slower reaction times can add up to serious burns for seniors subjected to water at high temperatures. Begin by making sure all water faucets are clearly labeled as hot or cold. Then, keep the thermostat below 60 degrees Celsius.

Secure Slippery Surfaces

Fluffy bathroom rugs may look pretty, but they can cause your loved one to fall if they are not adhered to the floor properly. Choose rugs with a rubber backing designed to prevent slippage. Also, add nonskid mats or stickers to the bottom of the bathtub.

Keep Bathing Items within Reach

To prevent falls, it is important to make sure everything your loved one needs for bathing is nearby. For instance, if your loved one uses a bench for bathing, have items at bench height so he or she doesn’t have to stand to reach them. Use shelves or organiser baskets if necessary to keep the shower or bathtub stocked with shampoo, soap, and other toiletries.

Stay Close

Seniors who are able to handle their personal hygiene independently can still benefit from having a loved one or North Coast caregiver nearby. To ensure your loved one’s voice can still be heard, ask him or her to leave the bathroom door cracked or use a curtain for privacy. This way, someone your loved one trusts can help if concerned about his or her safety.

Keeping your loved one safe while he or she performs daily tasks is a top priority of Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are available to assist with bathing as well as other tasks around the house, including cooking, exercise, and light housekeeping. For more information on elder home care North Coast families trust, call one of our experienced Care Managers at 1300 LIVE-IN or (02) 6646 3527 to schedule a free in-home consultation.