Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bed & Bath Safety for Seniors

Each year, many senior citizens are injured in and around their own homes; this typically occurs because no safety measures are implemented in their houses to ensure their well-being. Oftentimes even the most well meaning families are unsure of how to make sure their loved ones are taken care of at home, as they assume that homes are a safe and familiar place. Three of the most potentially precarious rooms in the home are the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen.

Bedroom: The two main concerns in the bedroom are comfort and mobility – elderly citizens may have a more difficult time getting into and out of bed and sleeping a sufficient amount.
  • Raise the bed off the ground to make it easier to get into – beds that are lower to the ground are more challenging to get into. Make sure to place the bed securely against a wall or use lockable wheels.

  • For many people, the risk of falling can be reduced by changing the height of the bed. A bed that is too high or too low can affect how easy it is to stand up from a sitting position.

  • Make sure to find the right mattress – a firmer mattress will provide the right support.

Bathroom: Risks in the bathroom including slipping on wet floors and difficulties getting into and out of shower cubes and tubs.

  • Hand rails and bars are a must for bathrooms as they make it easier for elderly family members to get into and out of the shower. Never use a towel rack to steady yourself: it can fall off the wall and take you with it. Hand rails can also be useful next to the toilet to make it easier to stand up and sit down.

  • Step-in showers are safer than tubs for bathing, but if a bathtub is your only option, make sure that hand rails are within easy reach.

  • Line your bathtub or shower with a nonslip rubber mat or abrasive strips. In the shower, seats can make bathing easier and reduce the risk of a fall. You can buy special shower seats with rubber grip footing, or find built-in ones.

Kitchen: Fire hazards are one of the biggest concerns for elderly family members, especially those who suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia.
  • Cooking can become potentially dangerous as they may begin to cook and then abandon the task without turning off stoves and ovens.

  • Older family members may also have a difficult time exchanging the batteries in fire detectors as they are typically hard to reach and require a step-ladder.

  • Make sure to remove any towels or curtains that are near an open flame or stove-top. Keep small stoves and heaters at a safe distance from flammable materials and furniture.

  • Check that all wires and cords are out of the way to avoid trips and falls.

About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a wholesale medical supplier specializing in orthopedic braces including wrist braces, cervical braces and hinged knee braces. For more information, please visit

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