From slippery tiles to loose floor rugs, a bathroom can be a dangerous place for anyone, especially the elderly. As seniors age, instability and mobility issues can pose serious issues. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that over 800,000 older people – those 65 and older – are hospitalized for hip fractures each year. More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling. The CDC also report that the cost for a hospital stay for hip fracture recovery is more than $30,000. While this statistic is staggering, there are plenty of ways that falls in the bathroom can be prevented.
One of the easiest ways to eliminate risk is to install high-quality grab bars in the bathroom. These sturdy, wall-anchored supports can be quickly installed by licensed contractors or knowledgable homeowners with the right skill set. Here are some tips to make sure your bathroom is equipped with grab bars that can help your daily routine.
- If you’re uncertain of your Do-It-Yourself skills, hire a professional. One of the worst things you could do to improve bathroom safety is to install insecure or suction cup-supported grab bars. Suction cups may become loose in the bathroom’s moist environment over time. A grab bar is only useful if you can rely on strong support, with your full body weight.
- Install several strategically placed grab bars around your most-used areas. In a bathroom, this would include the wall surrounding your toilet and shower stall or bathtub. However, you might not have considered the area by your entryway, outside your tub, or near your sink. Because water from the sink may splash on the floor, you should have at least one installed around this area, too. You’ll be more likely to prevent a fall in the bathroom if you have more than one grab bar within reach.
- Consider ADA-compliant designs. The Americans with Disability Act provides guidelines and standards for consumers and licensed contractors to promote a safe bathing environment for the elderly and those with disabilities. Adhering to these reliable guidelines can boost confidence and self-sufficient living at home.
- Ensure your grab bars are thick enough for a firm grip. While it may be tempting to coordinate a stylish or thin grab bar into your bathroom design, these models may not provide the same reliability as thicker bars. Don’t compromise safety for style.
When installed correctly, grab bars can enhance the safety and security of your bathroom for people like senior citizens or those with limited mobility and disabilities. This low-cost option provides a simple solution to prevent falls. Check back for more safety tips, blog posts, product updates, and helpful articles.