Rub-a-dub-dub stay safe in the tub!
Anyone at any age can take a tumble in the bathroom, but as we age our risk of falling becomes much greater. Nearly half of all senior slip and fall accidents happen in the home1, and the bathroom is one of most common places for injuries because of the slipping and tripping hazards in this small but important room.
January is Bath Safety Month, so start off the New Year by making sure your bathroom is as safe as possible.
- Make sure you have non-slip surfaces in your tub or shower. Rubber decals or rubber mats can help prevent slipping inside the tub, and a mat with rubber backing that grips your bathroom floor can help prevent falls when you’re getting in and out of the tub. It’s also wise to put non-slip mats in front of the toilet and sink.
- Install grab bars. Well-anchored and positioned grab bars can help you sit and stand when using the toilet, and make getting in and out of the tub safer. Remember that towel racks aren’t meant to support weight, so they’re not safe to use as a substitute for a properly installed grab bar. Have a professional install the bars for you to ensure that they are anchored in studs and are as safe as possible.
- Use a bath seat. If standing in the tub or shower is too difficult, use a slip-resistant bath seat that will allow you to sit down while you bathe.
- Keep it bright. Make sure you have bright, easily accessible lights in the bathroom so you can always clearly see any potential tripping or slipping hazards.
- Mop up. It’s so easy to drip, slosh, and spill in the bathroom. Make sure any water on the floor is wiped up immediately.
- Clean regularly. The soap scum and mildew that builds up on bathroom surfaces can make them more slippery, so make sure to clean regularly.
- Do some research. Many pharmacies carry senior safety devices, so check out your local drug store or search online for organizations like MediChair that cater specifically to senior care products.
Taking precautions like these can help you stay safe, but as you age it’s also useful to practice balance exercises like the ones in our June issue of Membership Matters to make sure you’re always steady on your feet both in and out of the tub.
For more bathroom safety tips and advice, visit Consumer Affairs.
413187E CAN/US (01/16)