Falls are a serious risk for seniors and can happen almost anywhere. If you have a parent that you wish to protect from falls, then you should make sure you take time to fall-proof the bathroom as this is one room in the home where a majority of falls occur.
Visiting Angels explains that falls in the bathroom cause the highest injury rate to those over the age of 65. Fortunately, there are many safeguards you can put in place to make your parents’ bathroom safer.
The bathroom is such a risky area because it is also a wet area. To help prevent falls due to slippery surfaces, you should ensure the bathtub and/or shower floor has non-slip decals. On the bathroom floor, you should remove rugs or only use those which cannot slip around.
Falls also often happen due to a loss of balance. Some of the activities in the bathroom do not allow for proper balance, so it helps if you install grab rails or bars in the bathtub or shower area and by the toilet. Your parents can use these bars to maintain balance or to assist as they get in and out of the bathtub or on and off the toilet, which are both times when falls are more likely to occur.
Nighttime falls are common due to visibility issues. Older people may need to use the bathroom during the night, so prepare the space by installing nightlights or another type of lighting that will allow your parents to see easily during nighttime visits.