Mobility is a huge concern amongst seniors. Falls are more likely to happen at certain places in the home. According to the National Institute on Aging, 80 percent of falls occur in the bathroom, hence many elderly opt for bathtubs as they are less dangerous. If you are considering having a bathtub at home, these are ways you can use your bathtub safely.
Ways to Make a Bathtub Safe Include:
- Placing non-slip stickers or mats on the tub floor
- Integrating grab bars into the bathtub area
- Using a tub transfer bench or bathing chair
- Purchasing a handheld shower head
What is the Correct Way to Get Out of a Bathtub?
Knowing the right way to get out of your bathtub could prevent falls in bathrooms. Other conditions like bad joints and arthritis could make this a more challenging process for the elderly. What the majority usually do is move a leg over the side of the bathtub, and then the other. For seniors, this is a recipe for a fall, especially when their feet are wet.
This would be the correct way to get out of a bathtub:
- Firstly, make sure you are in a sitting position in the bathtub.
- Hold the edge of the tub (ensure it is dry) and pull your body towards it until you are shifted onto your side.
- With your hands on the floor of the tub, move onto your knees and hands until you face the bottom of the bathtub.
- While firmly grabbing the edges of the tub, push yourself up onto your knees. At this point, you would be on your knees.
- Lift your knees off the floor slowly while holding the tub’s edges until you are able to stand.
- Raise one of your legs and move it over the side of the tub while still holding onto the bathtub edges. Remember that the floor beside the tub should always be dry.
- Lift your other leg and shift it over the side of the tub while still firmly grabbing the edges of the tub.
What is a Grab Bar?
A grab bar is a bar that is integrated into a bathtub that an elderly can hold onto for added support!
A grab bar does not only provide physical support for its user, but psychological support too. For instance, if an elderly has fear of falling in the bathtub, he or she may skip showers, which can cause hygiene problems like skin conditions and infections. It seems extreme to think that one would stop committing to personal care just because of a fall, but the fear is very real in an elderly person’s mind. A grab bar is an inexpensive option that eases such fear.
It is important to decide the most fitting type of grab bar (vertical or horizontal) which works best for you. You must also figure out where to place the grab bar in the shower area or tub. Position the grab bars in places where they will be comfortable for their user.