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Published on: 14 Feb 2018 by robertwright873
Bathing and personal hygiene are an essential part of a healthy life. We start our lives bathing in the bathtub as children, and we usually revert to the bathtub in our later years even if we have been partial to showers for most of our adult lives usually due to the issue of bath safety.
When it comes to taking a bath for those who are experiencing challenges with mobility, you must not ignore bath safety if you wish to remain unharmed physically.
While it is true that statistically, only about 1,000 bathroom deaths occur in the U.S. each year, what is frightening is that over 234,000 accidents involving hospitalization or medical attention do occur each year.
In fact, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has some more interesting facts surrounding the slips, sprains, contusions, fractures, and concussions that can happen due to not following simple bath safety suggestions:
*About 81% of the injuries were caused by falls.
*Women were more likely to be hurt than men.
*Two-thirds (66.67) of all injuries occurred in the tub or shower, though only 2.2% occurred while getting into the shower or tub.
*Overall, only 1% of accidental nonfatal injuries occurred in the bathroom, but for those 65 and older, 2.5% occurred in the bathroom.
And whether you are aware or not, the older we become, the longer it takes our bodies to heal. If you are older you know very well that it takes quite a bit longer to heal now than when we were in our twenties, thirties or even fifties. This is why it is vitally important that you know about bath safety and what it takes to keep from having an accident.
If you’ve been hospitalized lately, when you left the hospital you may be given some instructions for bath safety from the doctor or nurse. Of course, you may also have been given nothing regarding bath safety. Either way, here are 13 quick tips to help keep you safe for the time you spend keeping yourself clean:
1. Equip showers and surrounding walls with sturdy grab bars anchored to wall studs so they can support the full weight of an adult. Some portable safety handles use super strong suction cups and are easy to apply and remove. These will help you to get up and out of the tub and can help prevent a fall just by hanging on to them during a shower or bath.
2. Consider installing nonskid tape or mats on the floor of a shower or bathtub. These will ensure that you have solid footing and don’t slip and fall.
3. A shower chair or a bath bench is also a safe solution that can be easily placed where balance is a challenge. This is especially helpful if you have trouble standing for long periods of time due to weakness or an injury.
4. Flexible handheld shower wands with an on/off button might be easier to use than a traditional shower head. These are especially useful in combination with shower chairs. More than anything, this is a convenience of sort to ensure you have complete control of the flow of water on your body.
5. Toilets can be replaced with ADA-approved raised-height models to lessen the chance of a harsh fall.
6. Alternatively, if you would rather not replace your current toilet, you can purchase a raised-height seat that can be installed on your existing toilets.
7. Get a medical alert system with an extra waterproof medical alert button to keep in the bathroom at all times. In case you do fall and have sustained injuries too severe to get yourself up, you can press a button and help is on its way!
8. Check temperature settings on water heaters, as water hotter than 120 F can scald skin. Special no-scald faucets or a no-scald regulator can be installed as a secondary layer of protection.
9. Some faucet handles are difficult for arthritic hands to grip and turn. These should be replaced with models that are easier for seniors to use.
10. Make sure that towel racks, toilet paper holders and other wall attachments are securely fastened to the wall.
11. Make sure that towels are easily reached from the tub or shower. Toiletries should be near the sink or toilet depending on use. Nothing should be a strain to reach!
12. Remove cleaning products, decorations, and other non-essential items from bathroom to reduce clutter.
13. Keep medications and health aides in an uncluttered space so they can be easily located and identified.
Again, with over 234,000 accidents occurring every year to people in the U.S., bath safety is nothing to treat lightly. The 13 quick tips above are not only economical, but most can be done with very little effort, labor or cost. A local handyman or a very helpful relative can assist with the few suggestions that are the most labor intensive in literally a matter of minutes.
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