Evaluating Slippery Surfaces, Water Temperatures, Grab Bars, And Other Potential Hazards Helps Ensure Bath Safety For Your Clients
Pegasus Home Health Care is recognized as an industry leader in providing quality care. As an equal opportunity employer, we hire nurses with diverse backgrounds, experience, and expertise. All are dedicated to improving the well-being of their patients.
Pegasus skilled in-home caregivers in Verdugo City and elsewhere serve a variety of patients, from newborns to octogenarians. They are guided by the goal of helping individuals live safely in their homes. Career home health care nurses explain how to evaluate bath safety for their clients.
Statistically, one-third of older adults fall every year. And about 80% of those falls are in the bathroom. Experts regard the bathroom as the most dangerous room in the house.
Your patients are likely less mobile than they once were. They may also have declining vision. Both conditions increase their risk of falling, not just in the bathroom.
Reducing The Risk Of Slips And Falls
The bathroom, however, presents additional risks. That’s because they include using lots of water. Water often creates slippery floors, which increases the probability of falling.
Individuals stepping out of a shower or tub may still have soap on their feet. That increases slipperiness. Non-slip surfaces are essential.
Non-slip stickers for the bottom of the shower or tub are easily obtainable. Your patient can choose from a variety of colors, styles, and materials. They may prefer an inside-the-tub mat to stickers or decals.
Most households have non-slip mats on bathroom floors. Non-slip flooring may be an option. Both can be budget-friendly.
Grab Bars Are A Safety Essential
Grab bars or safety handles are another bathroom safety necessity. At a minimum, one should be inside the shower and one outside it. Your patient can use the inside one while showering or when getting ready to step out of the tub.
The grab bar or handle outside the tub or shower helps individuals steady themselves after they step out. Additional bars and handles can be installed as needed.
Grab bars are available in different lengths, diameters, and finishes. They can be mounted horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. No one should ever rely on a towel rack or similar fixture to avoid falls.
A shower bench or chair is essential for patients who are unable to stand safely. These are usually plastic, and some come with additional features for comfort or safety. Ensure that your patient selects one that can support their weight.
Of course, if the budget allows it, installing a walk-in tub significantly increases safety. These may have features like low entry to allow for a wheelchair. Most offer a variety of options to improve comfort and safety.
Reducing The Risk Of Burns From Hot Water
Water that’s too hot can cause severe burns, especially on fragile skin. The temperature control on the water heater should be set to 120 degrees F or lower. If that’s not possible, suggest installing an anti-scald device on the shower head.
Caution individuals against getting into a tub before it’s filled, as the temperature varies as it fills. Faucets should have a lever, rather than a knob, to turn them on or off. The lever allows the user to adjust the hot water to a safe temperature easily.
More Tips For Increasing Bath Safety
Bathrooms can quickly become cluttered with personal care products. While many items can be put away, regularly used items should be within easy reach. That prevents your patient from losing their balance and falling while stretching to reach something.
Clutter also often causes falls. Your patient might not see items on the floor and trip on them. Or if they see something, they may try to bend down to pick it up and fall.
Inadequate lighting is another safety hazard, especially for individuals with poor vision. Contrary to what many people think, bright overhead lighting isn’t always the best choice. That’s because it creates shadows.
Often, several well-placed lights will eliminate glare as well as shadows. Walls and floors painted in matte colors also help reduce glare. A decor featuring contrasting colors or patterns eliminates spatial confusion, which reduces the potential for falling.
If your patient bathes alone, suggest they invest in a waterproof medical alert device. All electrical appliances, such as hair dryers, should be kept completely away from tubs and sinks. It’s also wise to have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) on every outlet or receptacle.
Your Pegasus team includes occupational therapists. They can evaluate your patient’s abilities and home. They may be able to offer further safety recommendations.
Join Us In Improving The Lives Of Others
Pegasus is a licensed Home Care Organization and a Joint Commission Accredited Home Health Care organization. Our skilled in-home caregivers in Verdugo City and our other locations teach their clients how to live safely. Our career home health care nurses know that improving bath safety helps prevent falls.
The caregivers and staff at Pegasus are dedicated to improving the quality of life of others. We hire professionals from all walks of life. Join us for an opportunity to improve the lives of others while advancing your career.