As people age, their bodies and needs change, and their daily routines may need to be adapted to accommodate these changes. One of those routines that need to be adjusted is their showering environment. For seniors, taking a shower can be a bit more challenging, especially if they have limited mobility, and certain mistakes can lead to slips, falls, and other accidents.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of four older adults in the U.S. falls each year, making falls a public concern, especially among seniors. Bathrooms are commonly perceived as hazardous for falls due to wet and slippery surfaces.
If you live with a senior, familiarize yourself with some of the most common shower mistakes and learn how to avoid them below.
Using Slippery Surfaces
Slippery surfaces in the shower, such as fiberglass shower tiles or pans, can be slippery and increase the risk of falls and accidents. In addition, the soap and shampoo and fall on the floor can contribute to slipperiness and be a hazard.
It’s important to avoid slips and falls by covering slippery surfaces with an anti-slip shower mat made of vinyl, plastic, or PVC. They have suction cups on the bottom that stick to the floor, and they are easy to install, affordable, and immediately add traction to your slippery shower floor.
Clean the shower mats regularly to prevent the adhesive from losing its power, as dirt combined with soap and water that may frequently touch the surface can reduce its stickiness.
Installing a Regular Shower
In addition to slipping on a wet surface, stepping into a shower can be a struggle for seniors with limited mobility and balance. This is because regular showers are not created with accessibility in mind.
To create an accessible way for your loved one to get in and out of the shower, choose Freedom Showers’ walk-in showers as they are designed with safety in mind. Their dedicated team of accessibility professionals works hard to ensure a safe bathing experience for those needing support. Freedom Showers’ roll-in showers are barrier-free, allowing your loved one to enter and exit the shower safely and independently and are backed with a 30-year warranty to ensure you are always protected.
You can also add additional safety features, such as grab bars or shower chairs, to enhance safety in the bathroom. Grab bars provide stability and support when entering and exiting the shower and standing there. Installing grab bars in the shower can help prevent slips and falls and provide peace of mind for both the senior and their caregiver, but it is important to ensure that the grab bars are securely installed and can support the senior’s weight.
Shower chairs allow seniors to sit down while taking a shower, which is helpful for those who have limited mobility or balance. Adding a walk-in shower, grab bar, and shower chair will allow your loved one to take a shower independently and comfortably.
Ignoring Shower Hazards
Whether you’ve got a broken shower head, leaky faucet, or loose tiles you have been neglecting, these little hazards can be dangerous for a senior. For example, a broken shower head can fall on someone’s head and injure them, while a loose tile can result in slips, especially if a ceramic tile is slippery and not covered with a non-slip mat. It’s essential to regularly check the shower for any potential hazards and fix them immediately to avoid accidents and injuries in the bathroom.
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