Bathroom falls - A Geriatric Giant

SUDHA RANI MAMIDALA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
The bathroom is the place in the home where the most accidents occur in seniors.
Falls are a major problems in seniors and are considered “Geriatric Giants”.          As high as 30% of seniors aged 65 and above experience falls every year and a majority of falls happen in Bathroom.                                                                                                                                                                                                            
Various surveys reveal the following facts :                                                        
  • Senior women aged 65 plus are more prone to falls.
  • Most falls occur in early morning.
  • 90% of falls in bathroom happen at entrance, shower area and commode area.
  • 40 % of fall cases in seniors result in fractures.                                                         
Falls, apart from causing physical injury like fractures,head injuries etc also have dramatic psychological, medical and social consequences in seniors.                                                                                                                                                                
Today most Urban seniors prefer ageing alone in their own homes. A bathroom fall could seriously affect the independent living of the senior.                                                                                                                                                                        
Typical Indian Bath Rituals which lead to falls -
  • Bucket bathing - involves reaching to shampoos and soaps.
  • Washing feet after every nature's call.                                                                     
Typical Indian bathrooms are wet type bathrooms and have
  • Slick floors,
  • Small spaces,
  • Insufficient lighting,
  • Sharp edges and few things to grasp.                                                              
This is further complicated by other influences such as
  • Medication side-effects,
  • Reduced physical abilities and
  • Reduced vision.                                                                                                                                    
One bad accident around the house is enough to severely hinder independence and mobility, which is the last thing anyone wants.                                                                                                                                                                                            
Solutions                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                   
3 Simple Steps to help your loved one avoid bathroom injuries:
    1. Place Non-slip Pads/tape on the floor in shower area.
    2. Install at least 3 Grab bars in bathroom and place them to cover -
    • Entrance
    • Shower area
    • Commode area                 
    3. Place a shower chair with hand held shower.
                                                                                                                         
These products while enhancing the look of the bathroom would make bathing comfortably and safe.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
Conclusion
Safe shower is a daily problem for a senior. A warm morning shower with no fear of fall is the best way to start a day. These things won't cost you a bomb avoiding it could...


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