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Best of … safe bathing for seniors

By Editorial Staff

safe bathing for seniorsContributed by Info Guru Cindi Pearce

Bathtubs and showers are slippery and can be hazardous for anyone. They are particularly dangerous for senior citizens who may have balance, flexibility and sight issues. Getting in and out of bathtubs and showers without assistance can be perilous for older people.

Unfortunately, far too many bathing-related accidents occur each year and many of them involve people that are over 65 years of age. The bathtub is the second major site of drowning in the home next to a swimming pool.

Those who are at greatest risk of drowning or injuring themselves in a bathing incident are the young and the elderly. Bathing accidents escalate rapidly with age. Additionally, people daily sustain bathtub and shower related injuries, many involving falls. The hard slippery surfaces found in bathrooms as well as protruding fixtures, such as faucets, are dangerous. People also get burned because they can’t adjust the water temperature properly.

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Other problems that lead to injuries include fatigue of the bather, bad lighting, inadequate space around the tub, no way to transfer one self into or out of the shower or tub safety and slippery floors. Here are the best of safe bathing tips for seniors:

Bathroom grab bars

Stability and safety to maintain independence

grab bar

Install grab bars close to the shower and tub and next to the toilet. These are used to steady and support a person when he gets in and out of a tub or shower or is getting onto or up from the toilet. An elderly person who stands in a shower or tub unassisted by a grab bar is a very common unsafe bathing practice. Grab bars are wall mounted. Install wall mounted grab bars inside the shower or tub as well as on the outside so they can be hung onto when the bather is exiting. You should also put a grab bar directly into a shower stall or tub.

Bath Lift

Get and out easily

bath lift

A bath lift is designed to help those who have grave difficult getting into and out of a bathtub. The seat lowers automatically into the tub and then rises when the individual is ready to get out. The bath lift chair is comfortable, lightweight and even portable. A home living supply store has the perfect bath lift chair for you or for the elderly person in your life who needs some assistance.

Walk in Shower

No more tripping

walk in shower

Consider installing a walk-in tub or walk-in shower. Ameriglide has the answer. You can easily and quickly convert your shower into a roll-in shower or walk-in shower. You can also convert your existing bathtub into one that is walked into. No more climbing over the edge of the tub is required. This is ideal for those who use a wheelchair or shower chairs.

Walk in Tub

Soak Safely

walk in tub

If you prefer a tub to a shower, US Medical Supplies has walk-in baths available. In addition to taking a bath, the user can experience the sensation of air bubble jets and a whirlpool, which relaxes tired, aching muscles. The walk-in tub comes in four difference sizes.

Long handled brush

Help scrubbing

long reach foot brush

Something as simple as a long reach foot brush available at Easy Comforts can eliminate the difficulties associated with getting hard to reach body parts clean for the person who is no longer flexible or has balance issues. The individual does not have to bend over or lift his leg to reach his feet. In addition to getting your feet and toes clean the nylon bristled brush provides a wonderful foot massage.

Hazardous flooring

Slip proof

non slip mat

Get rid of throw rugs and anything else that the individual can trip over or cause them to slip. If the individual is using a walker, a cane or wheelchair the throw rug is going to complicate matters and may trip him up, causing him to fall. Apply non-slip mats, graduated steps and extra absorbent rugs in the tub and shower. Rubberized floor coverings prevent bathers from slipping and falling.

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