How to Make Bathing an Experience Seniors Look Forward To?
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For many seniors, bath time is not a fun time. This is especially true if they suffer from limited mobility and/or issues with balance. A bathroom is a place where many slips and falls occur. So, naturally, finding ways to prevent slips and falls is vital to a senior’s safety. What can you do to make bathing an experience your elderly loved one looks forward to?
Change the Flooring
“The CDC reports that one in every three seniors will experience a fall in their golden years,” reports Joy Intriago on SeniorsMatter.com, “The National Institute on Aging reports that 80% of those falls occur in the bathroom.” This means making your bathroom floors as slip-proof as possible is practically mandatory! Sure, you could always opt for non-slip mats. But why not remove the tiles altogether?
In-Home Care suggests considering textured non-slip tiles or even bamboo or cork flooring. “While pricier, these provide natural slip-resistance, are easy-to-maintain and look gorgeous,” explains their website, “Purchase textured non-slip tile options for floors and on bottoms of showers/tubs.”
Install Grab Bars
You’d be hard-pressed to find a list of bathroom safety tips and not find grab bars mentioned in there somewhere. They greatly assist those who aren’t steady on their feet to stay upright. If your elderly loved one has mobility and/or balance issues, grab bars in your bathroom are practically a must.
“Grab bars in contrasting colors from the walls can be easier to see and grab hold of while getting in and out of the shower, with a separate one for getting up and down from a shower seat,” suggests Intriago, “Grab bars should also be next to the toilet or a raised toilet seat with existing handrails used.”
Make Sure the Water Isn’t Too Hot
In many cases, bathroom injuries take the form of burns. Remember that, for some seniors, managing the cold and hot water faucets is a difficult task. Keep in mind, as well, that as we age, our skin thins out and this makes it more susceptible to burning. Intriago points this out.
“The average person will receive second-degree burns within just three seconds when the water is 140 degrees Fahrenheit and in only 17 seconds at 131 degrees,” she informs us, “The best way to prevent burns from happening is to decrease the temperature setting on the hot water heater to no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This will ensure that even if the water is set all the way to hot, it will not get warmer than 120 degrees, a temperature that would take 8 minutes to cause significant injury.”
Do Away With the Bathroom Altogether
It may be your safest bet to take a shower stall or bathroom out of the equation completely. At Forward Day, we proudly offer Shower Bay portable showers that can be snapped together in any room of the home where there is a faucet nearby. That means your elderly loved one doesn’t have to worry about any dangers of traditional shower stalls or bathtubs.