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Best ways to prevent hazards in the bathroom

May 20, 2009
Times Leader
An elderly woman slipped in her bathroom while brushing her teeth and had to be rushed to the hospital. A month later, an older man couldn’t get out of his bathtub and was stuck in it for five days surviving on water from the faucet before a neighbor found him. We’ve all heard tragic stories of the elderly being injured in the bathroom. That might leave you to wonder, how safe is the bathroom in your home?
These stories are sad, but not surprising because the bathroom is one of the most dangerous areas in a house. A small area with frequent water use makes it a prime location for injuries from falls. And for older people the bathroom can be a real hazard.
“Falls are the leading cause of death from injuries among older persons and the death rate from falls continues to climb. Each year, one in three Americans age 65 and older fall and almost a third of them need medical treatment as a result,” according to the AARP.
“Research shows that 75 percent of household accidents happen in the bathroom,” says Karen Grassle, spokeswoman for Premier Care in Bathing. “It is crucial, especially for older individuals, to create a bathroom that is both accessible and safe.”
For most elderly, remaining in their home to live an independent lifestyle is extremely important. And a safe home environment can be possible if the bathroom is assessed and if need be, renovated to fit their needs. Installing grab bars, non-slip rugs and bright lights is a great start, but the bathtub is one of the most important components to consider.
Regular bathtubs can become more difficult to use as we age. To avoid injuries while still remaining independent, you might want to consider putting in a new tub that is specifically designed for use by those with limitations.
Premier Bathrooms, a company that specializes in walk-in bathtubs, disabled bathrooms and assisted bathing products, has a range of tubs that are safer and easier to use. One thing you should look for when shopping for a new tub is how you will be getting in and out. This is when a lot of fall-related injuries occur and it is important that the entry and exiting process can be done safely and with ease.
The Cambridge tub, for example, allows you to simply step in through its convenient side entry door. Once in, you can sit comfortably on the contoured bath seat, turn the handle to seal the door and run the water. Once the tub is filled to your satisfaction press the button and you will be gently lowered into the water. When you have finished your bath, simply press the control once more to lift you back to the seated position and get out of the tub.
Another fully accessible option is the Washington model that has a built-in seat lift. The user sits in the seat outside the bathtub; the seat lifts the user’s legs over the side of the tub, rotates and lowers them into the bath. This is a safer option for seniors who want to remain independent in their home. The Washington model is compatible for people of all ages who need the use of a wheelchair.
Whether you and your spouse are aging and you want to remain independent in your home, or you have parents and you’d like to help them live more comfortably, consider making the bath a safe and secure place that will remain free from accident and injury. For more information on walk-in tubs or to schedule a complimentary consultation, call (800) 578-2899 or visit www.Premier-Bathrooms.com. For inquiries in Canada visit www.premierbathrooms.ca or call (888) 596-4909
Courtesy of ARAcontent
 
 

 

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