National Bath Safety Month is the best time to address bathing and their fall risk. The bathroom, bedroom, and stairs are the three most common locations for indoor falls. In 2011, the CDC released a study of more than 234,000 falls that led to ER visits. Women were more likely to fall in the bathroom, and younger adults were more likely to fall in or near the tub or shower. Older adults were more likely to fall while sitting down or standing up from the toilet. That’s why bathroom safety must be a primary concern and a discussion you and their home care assistance providers have with your parents.
Bathroom Falls Were Likely to Cause Head and Neck Injuries
After a fall in the bathroom, cuts, scrapes, and bruises were the most common injuries. It accounted for almost three out of ten injuries. Those injuries are minor, but there are more serious ones too. Neck and head injuries accounted for three out of ten injuries. Those injuries accounted for just over 31% of the injuries. Head injuries can be severe and impair cognitive impairment.
Check Out Their Bathroom
Go into your parents’ bathroom and look at what they have for safety features. Do they have grab bars inside and outside of the bathtub or shower? Is the shower floor tile? If it is a tile floor, do they have non-slip mats or strips down to prevent a fall?
How is the lighting? Are the lights bright and illuminate all bathroom areas, or is the tub or toilet in a shaded area where they don’t see obstacles clearly? Are outlets on a GFIC circuit to ensure power is shut off if water splashes onto the outlet? All of these issues need to be addressed.
How Are Their Balance and Mobility?
Do your mom and dad have issues with balance and mobility? Do they take medications that impact their balance? Many medications list dizziness as a common side effect, which increases their fall risk. If they get dizzy after taking medications, they need to shower before taking their pills.
Weaker muscle tone also increases the risk of a fall. Working with a physical therapist is an excellent way to improve balance and mobility. They could also hire home care assistance aides to help with mobility and ambulation.
Having Home Care Assistance Services can be Useful
Home care assistance services help your parents at moments when a fall is most likely to happen. If your mom and dad are less steady while stepping over the edge of a tub or when sitting down or standing up, it’s time to address their care needs. Talk to our home care assistance agency about having someone there to help during hygiene and bathing tasks.