Bathtime should be relaxing! Whether you like to soak your cares away in a tub filled with bubbles or prefer a warm shower, these cares shouldn’t add stress. For some, bathtime has caused falls, injuries, or near misses to the point that it’s more hassle than self-care should be.
January is many things, but it’s also bathtub safety month. According to the National Council on Aging, 80% of senior falls happen in the bathroom. That number is alarming, but prevention is possible.
What Keeps People from Enjoying Bathtime?
- Fear of falling
- Prior falls
- Memory loss
- Limited mobility
- Inaccessible bathtub/shower
- Diminished strength
- Limited range of motion
- Loss of balance
Bringing Relaxation Back
Outpatient physical or occupational therapy can help you regain strength and balance and teach you new techniques to safely get in and out of the shower or tub. Outpatient therapists can show you how to move more painlessly based on your needs. Best of all, these experts can recommend everyday exercises to help you stay strong even after you recover.
Therapists may also recommend some helpful equipment to help keep you safe. Shower chairs, grab bars, hand-held shower heads, and long-handled sponges are all useful for safe bathing/showering.
Durable medical equipment comes in different heights, sizes, and weight capacities. Outpatient occupational and physical therapy specialists can offer expertise on which products are appropriate for you and your bathroom.
Be cautious when choosing bathroom décor and equipment on your own. Stick-on grab bars are readily available, easy to install, and may be fashionable, but perhaps dangerous to use if they don’t stay in place.
Set up your bathtime to have toiletries easy to grab once you’re finished. Be sure you have proper lighting and that rugs are firmly secured to the floor before hopping in the tub.
Adding a Layer of Safety
Having someone to help you safely step into the tub or wash your back can reduce the risk of falling. If fear or dignity keeps you from a thorough wash, hiring a trusted professional rather than asking a family member can be beneficial. Each person’s comfort level differs, but having family help with the most personal care doesn’t work for everyone.
Regardless of who helps you, ask them to look over your skin during the process. Skin breakdown can affect overall health. Wounds that don’t heal properly can create pain and potentially need antibiotics, wound care, surgeries, or hospitalization.
- Skin tears
- Changes in your skin or moles
CaringEdge can offer home health services that can help you enjoy bathtime again. They can provide home health services from a nurse to address medication safety or outpatient therapists to help you regain your strength and independence with tasks of daily living like bathing. Prevention is always best, so consider getting help before health problems escalate from falls to skin breakdown or more complex issues. Please get in touch with us to learn more at firstname.lastname@example.org.