Our last blog post discussed bath safety in general, who is at risk and why bath safety is important. As part of National Bath Safety Month, we want to take more in depth look at how we can help increase your safety in the bath tub or shower. Our hope is that we can lower the number of injuries (about 235,000 a year) that occur in or around the bath tub or shower every year.
Getting in and out of the bath or shower
Risks: entering and exiting a bath tub requires you to lift your legs over the edge one at a time while balancing; the shower requires you to move safely on a slick surface. Both require balance, coordination and weight shifting.
Equipment that could help:
- Grab bars- grab bars are essential to increasing bath safety. They can be fastened directly into walls or suctioned to a wall in your bathroom. Certain models also allow you to rotate them to make an angled handle, while others are adjustable.
- Tub rails– tub rails attach onto the edge of your tub to provide assistance while getting into and out of the tub. Features vary from model to model of tub rails, as some can adjust height while others can turn perpendicular to the edge of the tub.
- Transfer benches– transfer benches straddle the edge of the tub. The half outside the tub provides a safe, dry spot for you to sit before sliding across the bench to the end in the tub. The end of the transfer bench inside the tub provides you a secure seat for safer bathing. Transfer benches are available in both standard and heavy duty models.
- Bath seat lifter- this product takes the difficulty out of sitting down in the tub. Simply raise the seat up, sit down and use the control to lower yourself into the bath tub. To get out, just reverse the process.
- Portable Bath Step- when stepping over the edge of your tub, every inch you don’t have to lift your leg is a bonus. The Portable Bath Step from Drive adds four inches to your height, meaning you struggle less when getting into the tub.
While in the shower
Risks: turning and moving in a confined space on a slippery floor can be dangerous. Also, shifting weight and balancing can be tricky, especially when the situation calls for having most of your weight on one leg.
Equipment that could help:
- Hand held shower– twisting and turning in the shower is dangerous. A hand held shower allows you to control the water flow so you can stand still while showering, which is much safer.
- Shower chairs and benches- there’s no safer position in the shower than being seated. Shower chairs and benches allow you to stay seated while showering. This almost completely eliminates the chances of a fall while showering. When paired with a hand held shower, a shower chair or shower bench makes your shower as safe as possible.
- Bath mat- as we’ve mentioned, the floor of your shower is a slippery hazard when covered in water. A bath mat provides a little more traction if you prefer standing in the shower/
By knowing your options when it comes to bath safety equipment, you can make better decisions that help make your bathroom or the bathroom of a loved one safer. Not only does this help prevent injuries, but also improves independence and gives you more peace of mind.
Homepro Medical Supplies is here to help anyway we can by offering a variety of bath safety items. Take a look at what we offer to find the right fit for your needs today.