For many aging Americans, knowing when it’s no longer safe to stay in your own home is difficult. You may feel comfortable living alone but struggle with specific tasks now that your mobility has diminished. One job that is a significant catalyst for senior citizens to move to a care facility is the inability to bathe safely and independently. When your bathroom becomes a hazardous area for you, you might feel that it’s time to leave your home. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Walk-in tubs can help many senior citizens to continue living safely and independently at home. Keep reading to learn how.
Statistics about Bathroom Falls
First of all, it’s important to understand that the bathroom isn’t just a dangerous place for the elderly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 235,000 people over the age of 15 visit the emergency room each year for injuries sustained in the bathroom, and 14% of them end up hospitalized for their injuries. Roughly 81% of those injuries are related to slip-and-fall incidents; considering the number of slippery surfaces, it’s little wonder that so many people can sustain injuries in the bathroom.
However, the bathroom is indeed more dangerous for the elderly, who often have reduced mobility, balance, and muscle strength. Injuries sustained in the bathroom increased with age, according to researchers, peaking after age 85. About 1.6 million adults over 65 seek emergency care every year for fall-related injuries—with many of them likely sustained in the bathroom.
Injuries Cause Loss of Independence
Often, it is one of these falls that can rob someone of their ability to live independently. The elderly are much slower to “bounce back” from an injury. In some cases, a severe injury can drastically alter their mobility and overall quality of life. It can seem that something like a hip fracture marks the end of aging in place, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
Modifying Your Home, Not Leaving It
If your home no longer feels equipped to meet your mobility needs, don’t leave it—change it! There are many modifications that you can make to keep yourself safe and independent in your own home. Grab bars, safety handles, stairlifts, wheelchair ramps, and other changes throughout your home can make an enormous difference in inaccessibility. And in the bathroom—that inherently hazardous space—a walk-in bathtub can make a world of difference. Here are some features of a walk-in tub that make it inherently safer for those with reduced mobility:
- Low entry step with a wide door
- Comfortable, upright seat
- Nearby grab handles
- Anti-slip flooring
- Handheld showerhead sprayer
These features make bathing independently safer, easier, and more enjoyable. If you have questions about how our walk-in bathtubs can give you back your independence while bathing, contact Safe Step Tub today! We’ll discuss your needs and find a model that works for you, so that you can continue to live comfortably and safely in your own home.