Around 28% of adults aged 65 or older fall at least once a year. Of those, about 10 percent were injured. Head injuries and broken bones are the most common injuries after a fall.
Bathrooms are one of the areas where a fall is more common. Around 29 percent of all falls inside a home occur for reasons like bathing. Over 17 percent of bathroom falls result in an injury.
How do you lower the risk of falling in the bathroom? As many bathroom falls occur when someone is stepping from the wet floor of a shower or bathtub onto hard bathroom flooring, grab bars are essential. Do your parents have them installed? If not, you need to do so and make sure they meet the requirements.
Check the Weight Capacity
Grab bars need to be able to hold your parent’s weight. If your mom gains weight, will her current grab bars still support her? Ideally, get a bar that supports far more than she needs. That way, you don’t have to worry about anything if she suddenly gains weight.
Choose Between Suction or Mounted Grab Bars
Retailers sell mounted and suction grab bars. Mounted grab bars are secured to studs within the wall. They’re long-term and can support heavier adults.
Suction grab bars attach to the walls via plastic suction cups. You can move them as needed. If they’re not adequately secured, they can fall off. They may not be able to hold the same amount of weight as a mounted version.
Decide if Pivoting or Telescoping Grab Bars Are Helpful
Pivoting grab bars have central pivots. If you want an L-shaped grab bar, that becomes an option. Telescoping bars easily adjust in size. You might have a bar that extends from 12 inches to 20 inches without a hassle.
Put Grab Bars in All Essential Areas
Grab bars need to go on the wall outside the tub. Vertical bars are easier to grab, but you can put horizontal bars if you’re worried about space. Purchase grab bars with a second bar that doubles as a towel rack. There should be grab bars within the tub or shower area on two of the walls.
There also needs to be a vertical or diagonal grab bar to the side of the toilet. Finally, place a horizontal one on the wall behind the toilet.
These grab bars need to be at the height of 33 to 36 inches. Toilet paper holders that are in the way get installed below the grab bar. Make sure grab bars are secured to studs within the walls and not just the sheetrock.
When your parents reach a point that they cannot safely climb in and out of the bathtub or shower without falling, it’s time to discuss senior care. Senior care aides can support them while they step in and out of the shower area. Learn more by making a call.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering senior care in Spokane, WA please contact the caring staff at Angel Senior Care today at (509) 326-4357.