Imagine being so afraid of slipping and falling in your own bathtub that you chose to not bathe yourself. This happens all too often with our aging parents and grandparents. Bathing should be a relaxing experience, not a dangerous and scary one. Bathing is a very private matter so most seniors are not going to ask for help in fear of being embarrassed or having their dignity stripped. Maintaining independence seems to become much more important as we age. Bathing is a huge part of this.
Many homes are outfitted with a tub-shower combo in the main bath. As we age, balancing and lifting our legs to step over the edge of the tub becomes extremely difficult and ultimately very dangerous. A free-standing shower makes getting in and out easier but can still be just as dangerous with the concern of slipping and falling.
Don’t wait for your parents or grandparents to ask for help. Be proactive and go look at their current bathing situation. There are some fairly simple safety precautions we can take to help our aging seniors bathe more independently.
- Install grab bars in and around the shower or tub.
- Add no-slip surfaces to the inside of tub or in bottom of shower pan.
- Be sure there is a non-slip, large shower mat outside of the bathing area.
- Mount towel bars and robe hook within easy reach of the shower or tub.
- Add a sturdy, securely mounted bathing chair to the shower.
- Supply your senior with an emergency call system or a telephone in the bathroom.
Most seniors want to spend their “golden years” in their own homes. To enable your aging family member to remain in their home for a longer period of time, some additional changes can be made. Keep in mind what the cost can be for a senior care center. Statistics show that a safer shower or tub remodel will pay for itself when compared to the cost of a 3-month stay at a care center.
- Remodel current shower with an easy to walk into, low-threshold shower.
- Replace current traditional tub with a safe, relaxing walk-in bath tub.
Don’t wait for an accident to happen to make improvements. It’s actually never too early because most of these design changes are universal and can benefit people of all ages. Adding some of these items to your senior’s home now will be much more enjoyable and comforting than rushing to do it because an accident has happened.
For additional information on low-threshold showers, walk-in tubs, grab bars, and other accessories, visit the Best Bath Systems website at www.best-bath.com. They specialize in aging-in-place showering and bathing systems and they have dealers located all across the United States and in Canada. Their tubs and showers are high quality, made in America, and hold a 30 year warranty.