Bath Safety Tips: Keeping Seniors Injury-Free While They’re Bathing

Because there are so many ways that seniors may sustain injuries at home, it is important for caregivers to inspect all residential areas and identify disasters waiting to happen. To make that task easier and help families start the year off safely, we’ve put together a half dozen bath safety tips that may help. Each one focuses on the bath tub and bathing. 2015-02-03-bathsafetyHere they are:
  • Adjust the temperature setting on the home’s water heater to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. According to the American Burn Association’s figures, that is the safest water temperature for the majority of seniors. Those with thin skin or neuropathy may need temperatures lower than that. Just don’t go below 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, legionellae could establish itself in the home’s plumbing system.
  • Consider installing an LED faucet aerator with temperature indicator or other device that’s designed to let people know whether they’re dealing with hot or cold water before putting their bodies into contact with it. Prices vary and the devices are typically available through durable medical equipment providers, home improvement and plumbing specialty retailers.
  • If temperature indicator faucets won’t work, try installing anti-scald ones instead. They are generally designed to screw onto an existing pipe and do one of two things automatically. It will either add cold water or reduce the flow of hot water when the water temperature within the fixture reaches 120 degrees Fahrenheit. At that temperature, burns may occur after three to nine minutes of constant exposure.
  • Once that’s taken care of, focus on adding anti-slip materials to the bathtub’s surface and the surrounding floor. There are quite a few materials on the market today that would work, including press-on strips and spray-on coatings. The anti-slip devices shouldn’t end there though.
  • Think about installing a variety of grab bars or tub grips to the bathroom wall and tub itself. They come in a variety of designs, including ones that double as shelving and soap dishes. Ideally, all of the supportive devices should all be professionally installed and be capable of holding the senior household members’ full body weight at any given time.
  • Investing in a series of personal care aids will also improve bath safety. Examples include handheld shower heads, reclining bath lifts, shower chairs, bath seats, bath stools and transfer boards. It should also be noted that today’s durable medical equipment manufacturers make ones that fold up and can be stored away as well as more permanent fixtures.

To find out more about bath safety and how Hannah’s Home Care caregivers may help, please contact us. We’ve been offering unwavering care and companionship for seniors living in, and around, Tacoma, Washington for years.

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