Handicap Tubs Help Bathroom SafetyBarry Smith
Physical disabilities and mobility problems are difficult to deal with. Handicapped and elderly family members, like other reasonable people, prefer to have a sense of independence. While not all handicapped people desire the same level of autonomy in day-to-day activities, personal hygiene is something that your handicapped loved one will want to take care of by themselves. After all, you wouldn’t like if someone had to help you in the bathroom either.
Sadly, many elderly and handicapped people aren’t able to enjoy a relaxing bath alone. The bathroom can be a dangerous place for people with impaired movement. This can is especially the case for old, frail people, who often slip and hurt themselves.
Why Bathrooms Are Surprisingly Dangerous Places
According to statistics, bathrooms are the most high-risk areas for falls in your home, with up to 80% of falls that occur at home being in the bathroom. And unfortunately, most a fall in the bathroom is likely to result in injury, seeing as the surfaces are hard and slippery, sometimes even with sharp edges in certain places (taps and edges of bathroom cabinets are a good example of sharp edges that could injure a falling person).
With all this in mind, making sure your bathroom in safer should be a top priority, especially if you have handicapped and elderly family member who live in your home, or visit often.
Check Your Towel Racks
This is one of the most simple, cost effective things you can do to improve the safety of your bathroom. When you think about it, bathrooms have little space to grab onto in order to prevent falls.
The problem comes in when a falling person instinctively grabs for the towel rack, often causing it to come off the wall. By checking that your towel racks are properly secured, you can prevent this from happening in your home. Ideally, your towel racks should be well enough secured to support a person’s weight if they were to grab onto it to prevent a fall.
Be careful though, having sturdy towel racks doesn’t mean children can be allowed to use them as jungle gyms to hang onto for fun. Your towel racks only have to be secure enough to support someone just in case of a fall. If your towel rack repeatedly has to support more weight, wear and tear could make it unsafe.
Add Extra Grab Bars
Your towel racks are probably the only secure areas to grab onto in your bathroom, but unfortunately, this isn’t sufficient to prevent most falls from occurring. Considering that many bathroom falls occur either while a handicapped person is using the toilet, or while they’re getting in and out of the bathtub or shower, it’s a good idea to place some extra grab bars in your bathroom. One of the best areas to add a new grab bar, is on a wall next to the toilet.
Get Rid of Slippery Surfaces
Slippery surfaces are one of the main hazards that distinguish your bathroom from an area in your house like the kitchen. It goes without saying that reducing the spaces in your bathroom that can be slippery while wet is something that will greatly help to make your bathroom safer.
The first area to look should be the floor. Often times, tiled bathroom floors can be exceptionally slippery when they get wet. Of course, slipping on a wet floor can be very dangerous, because often times it’s nearly impossible for a person to regain their footing when they keep slipping on the floor in an attempt to get back up.
If your bathroom tiles are very smooth, you might even want to consider replacing them with something that has a coarser texture.
But regardless of what the tiling in your bathroom looks like, adding a few extra bathroom mats when your handicapped loved one will be using the bathroom is a good measure to take. Just check that the mats are steady and that they won’t slip when you step on them. Bathroom mats that don’t have enough grip on tile flooring can be more of a hazard than a help for your bathroom safety!
Also be sure to check that areas such as the shower chair aren’t too slippery, as this could easily cause someone to fall. Another good measure is the place a non-slip rubber mat in your shower so the floor isn’t too smooth.
Get A Handicap Tub or Shower
If you’re willing to make the ultimate investment in bathroom safety, a handicap tub or shower is just the thing for you!
Unlike regular showers and tubs, handicap tubs and showers have non-slip surfaces to prevent falls. Handicap tubs are also fitted with doors to prevent your loved one from falling while getting in or out of the tub. Bathroom accidents often happen while elderly or handicapped people are getting in and out of the bath, so a tub with a door is definitely a good choice for preventing falls.
At Knoxville Walk-In Tubs, we have a wide range of expertly designed handicap bathtubs and showers for you to choose from. We’re passionate about improving the lives of the elderly and handicapped persons who use our bathtubs on a daily basis. Independence and mobility in the bathroom is something every American should be able to enjoy, regardless of age or physical disabilities, that’s why we’re so proud to contribute a better quality of life for many elderly and disabled persons. Call us today to learn how we can assist you and your family.