Caregiving and Shower Safety

Caregiving and Shower Safety

Caregiving and Shower Safety

Caregiving can pose some dangers for your loved one. One of those dangers is maneuvering in the bathroom before and after a shower. One of the greatest risks in bathroom environments is falling as a result of slipping. Falling can lead to serious injuries like head trauma and broken bones, which can take months to heal. According to the Center for Disease Control, over 800,000 patients per year go to the hospital because of a fall, and 300,000 of those patients are older individuals.[1] As people age, they are more likely to be weaker and less agile, which can increase their risk to be seriously injured during a fall.  In fact, 95% of hip fractures occur as a result of a fall.[2] As a family caregiver, part of your role includes thinking of ways to “fall-proof” the house so your loved one is less at risk for injury. One of those environments where falls are likely to occur is the bathroom.

Consider these safety tips to protect against falls in the bathroom:

  • Keep floors dry: Bathroom areas are prone to get wet, especially the tile floor just outside of the shower. Make sure that you pay special attention to bathroom floors as it may be hard to notice that water is on them. One way to help with this is to put a bathroom rug near the shower and near the sink. There are also mats that can be installed in the shower area itself to provide extra grip for your loved one’s feet. Taking these precautions will also help you, the family caregiver, to avoid slips if you have to transport your loved one to and from the shower.
  • Modify the bathtub/shower: Your loved one is more at risk to fall if he or she is standing and moving around. One way to minimize this risk is to install a shower bench and/or handle bars so your loved one as a way to support him or herself.
  • Take away obstacles[3]: When you are transporting your loved one, make sure there is nothing on the floor that could lead to them tripping. Also, if it is feasible, you might want to consider removing any barriers around their bathtub and installing a walk-in shower area. This can help tremendously as your loved one is no longer required to step up and over the ledge of the bath, which can sometimes be a difficult and dangerous maneuver for them.

Finding Help

Lastly, one way to ensure your loved one’s safety is enlisting the help of a professionally trained caregiver who has the relevant experience and knowledge to safely transport their clients during bath times. Although, it costs some money to hire a caregiver, you can be in control of the number of hours they work with you. For example, if you think that shower times are the only times you really need their help, then that can be an arrangement you make. Nurse registries like ElderCare at Home can help you find the assistance you need. If you have any questions, call our phone at 888-285-0093 or visit our website!

[1] Source:  Center for Disease Control and Prevention

[2] Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention

[3] Source: https://www.visitingangels.com/knowledge-center/preparing-loved-ones/elder-care-7-bathroom-safety-tips-to-prevent-falls-injuries/106

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