Safe bathing is second nature for many, but for seniors, the bathroom can be a precarious place. According to the CDC, 37% of bathroom injuries occur while bathing or showering, with 1 in 4 older adults reporting a fall each year.
However, you can help reduce the safety risks in your bathroom through different modifications and precautionary measures, like adding floor grips to your bath mat or installing a walk-in tub.
We share our top six bath safety recommendations in the sections below. Read on to learn how you can create a safe, worry-free bathing experience for years to come.
6 Ways to Improve Bathroom Accessibility
1. Upgrade to a Walk-In Tub
For seniors and those with limited mobility, using a standard bathtub can be challenging. Safe Step Walk-In Tubs offer built-in safety features that make bathing more accessible, including:
- Ultra-low step-in for easy entry and exit without lifting your legs over high barriers
- Two built-in grab bars to maintain stability while bathing and maneuvering
- Anti-slip floor and seat to increase traction and add comfortable seating
- Handheld shower wand to easily target hard-to-reach areas
Our walk-in tubs also come with therapeutic features like hydrotherapy jets to soothe aching joints and muscles, as well as our Microsoothe® Air Therapy System to gently exfoliate, hydrate and clean your skin. Combine this with our convenience features and you get a perfect blend of safety, comfort and peace of mind.
2. Add More Lighting Fixtures
Ensure your bathroom is bright enough to easily see the entire area and any potential tripping hazards on the floor. Adding a night light or illuminated light switches can help older adults with balance problems or vision issues navigate the bathroom at night with confidence.
Safe Step Walk-In Tubs feature built-in chromotherapy lights for extra visibility while bathing. These therapeutic lights create a soft glow inside your tub and help reduce inflammation while boosting your mood.
3. Remove Bath Mats and Place Floor Grips
Bath mats and rugs are stylish bathroom decorations, but they can be dangerous obstacles for seniors with limited mobility or who are in wheelchairs. Loose rugs can slip underfoot or cause you to trip if you step wrong. To reduce your chances of falling, remove your bath mats or at least opt for ones with low profiles and a textured bottom to prevent slippage.
A better alternative to throw rugs and plushy bath mats are anti-slip floor grips, which usually come in the form of strips that stick to surfaces. Place them on the ground of high-traffic areas in your bathroom like the bathtub or shower floor to help improve traction.
4. Install Grab Rails
Using grab bars around and inside your tub can increase your stability while entering and exiting, which can significantly reduce your risk of slipping and falling. You can also install them around your toilet for extra balance and support when sitting down or standing up.
5. Get a Bath or Shower Chair
Wet slippery surfaces in the bathroom can be especially dangerous and a hazard for seniors with limited mobility. A bath or shower chair allows you to sit comfortably and securely while bathing instead of having to stand for an extended period in a traditional shower or sit on the hard floor of a bathtub.
6. Use a Transfer Bench
A transfer bench is extra helpful if you use a wheelchair. The flat board allows you to easily enter and exit a traditional tub when you can’t lift your legs over the side. Simply place the bench between the user’s wheelchair and a bath chair in the tub to safely move between the two seats.
Create a Safer Bathroom with a Safe Step Walk-In Tub
At Safe Step, walk-in tubs have been our life’s work for over 15 years. Providing the safest bathing solutions for seniors to regain their peace of mind at home has always been our top priority, and it continues to be to this day. That’s why we’re North America’s #1 selling walk-in tub. Get your free quote today to make your bathroom a safe place for years to come.