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5 Tips to Make Bathing Safer for Seniors

Some seniors face challenges when it comes to bathing. As mobility and balance decrease, seniors are at greater risk for falling on slippery floors or failing to step over a high bathtub ledge. Fortunately, you can help your senior loved one prevent an injury by using the following bathroom safety strategies.

1. Install Grab Bars

Seniors may lose their balance if they step wrong on a wet surface. Have grab bars installed along the wall of the shower and bathtub. Make sure this is done correctly so the bar and supporting wall can hold your loved one’s full weight if he or she must use it for balance. 

Having a professional caregiver nearby greatly reduces your senior loved one’s risk of injury while bathing. Columbus, Ohio, home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.

2. Use a Sturdy Bathing Chair

Standing for long periods can cause some seniors to experience dizziness. Use a chair designed for bathing since these usually come with nonskid surfaces where the legs contact the floor. A bathing chair provides a safe place to rest if your loved one feels dizzy, and he or she may find it more comfortable to reach his or her extremities while bathing.

In-home caregivers are trained to make bathing and other tasks safer for seniors. For many seniors in Columbus, Ohio, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness.

3. Keep Supplies Nearby

Ideally, your loved one should only have to enter and exit the bathing area once. Help your loved one avoid having to get in and out by keeping everything he or she needs within reach. Use shelves or place a basket nearby, then stock it with shampoo, soap, and other toiletries. If the space is big enough, add two of each item so your loved one does not have to get out to replenish a finished bottle of shampoo. 

4. Add Nonskid Surfaces to the Floor

Bathroom floors are usually made from tile or linoleum that gets slick when wet. Bathtub and shower floors are also notoriously slippery. Use a nonskid mat in the area where your loved one bathes, or install adhesive stickers with a tactile surface, then cover the floor with a skid-proof rug and change it out when it gets wet. Make sure the rug lays flat against the floor and fits properly so the corners do not get turned up around fixtures and create a tripping hazard.

5. Provide Physical Assistance

There often comes a time when seniors need personal care to complete their hygiene routine safely. For some seniors, this may simply mean they need someone to wait nearby in case they call for help. Other seniors may prefer physical support as they get in and out of the tub. Either way, make sure anyone who helps your loved one bathe is a professional who understands how to promote independence while also protecting dignity.

If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Columbus seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers. To learn about our premier senior care plans, give us a call at (614) 481-8888 today.