National Bath Safety Month

Posted On: January 14, 2020

January is National Bath Safety Month! Some might not realize but the bath is a place in the home where elderly residents have a substantial risk of falling and injuring themselves. So it’s important to know and understand different measures to take in order to have safe practices around the bath. Listed below are 5 good tips and precautions, courtesy of Providence Life Services.

  1. Say goodbye to the bath. Many senior communities do not [even] have bathtubs because the risk of falling is so high.”
  2. Monitor the water temperature. The older we get, the more we need to rethink this preference [because] our skin becomes more sensitive [with age]. Beyond the obvious burn risk, hot water causes skin to dry out and crack, and thus makes us more susceptible to infection.”
  3. Install accommodating equipment. Install grab handles. Do not depend on the towel rack or the sliding glass door for the tub to steady yourself [because] those can come off with much less weight than the pull of the human body.”
  4. Standard toilets need modifications. A modified toilet and shower reduce fall risks. Standard toilets’ heights are low, which are a strain on joints and muscles that are already compromised in seniors. Beyond pain, this adds a fall risk and the possibility of strained muscles.”
  5. Consider in-home help or an assisted living environment. Most people don’t want someone standing over them, supervising them as they bathe. But caregivers are experts at preserving dignity while also ensuring safety. Sometimes, it’s simply less embarrassing to have a professional help with bathroom matters than a family member.”

Also to be noted is the Healthy Home Rating System (HHRS) which categorizes 29 potential hazards. “Falls in baths” is the first hazard listed under Safety.

So take some time this month to think about the importance of bath safety, and if your elderly residents are in need of some of the precautions listed above.


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