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10 Bathroom Safety Tips

For seniors, bathrooms are the most dangerous rooms in their homes. 1 in 3 seniors over the age of 65 experience a fall each year according to the National Institute on Aging, and nearly 80% of them take place in the bathroom. Take these tips to enhance the safety of your bathroom and reduce the occurrence and severity of falls.

#1 Slip Resistant Surfaces
Use rubber mats and slip resistant surfaces on your tub and shower floors and anywhere else water tends to accumulate. Mats with rubber, gritty surfaces help prevent bathroom slips and falls.

#2 Standing Water
Be attentive to accumulated water and always inspect the floor after bath time, hand washing, or teeth brushing to ensure there aren’t any water puddles on the floor. Immediately mop up any water that has accumulated.

#3 Grab Bars
Grab bars in and around the tub, shower, and toilet area are essential. When installed properly, grab bars make it easier to utilize your bathroom without the risk of losing your footing, or having something to hold onto in case you do. NEVER use a soap dish, towel rack, or lighting fixture as a grab bar as they are often not installed on studs and can be easily ripped from the wall.

#4 Lighting
Adequately light your bathroom during the day and night to ensure you can clearly see bathroom obstacles.

#5 Electrical Bathroom Appliances
Electrical appliances in the bathroom for hair care and other purposes are often necessary, but they can lead to deadly accidents if they are not stored properly. Never plug in an electrical appliance near an area where water is present (including the sink, toilet, and bathtub). When not in use, store electrical appliance, unplugged, in cupboards or linen closets.

#6 Safe Electrical Outlets
Ensure that your electrical outlets have a ground-fault circuit interrupter, which will protect you from being shocked in the event that water and electricity come into contract. Ask an electrician if your bathroom outlets are safe.

#7 Keep you Bathroom Neat and Orderly
Keep medications, tooth paste, lotions, and other bathroom products off the floor and stowed neatly in closets, medicine cabinets and off of usable surfaces. Keeping your bathroom orderly will ensure you don’t accidentally knock items onto the floor making you risk bending over or reaching in tight spaces, increasing your odds of falling.

#8 Prevent Tripping Hazards
Cleaning supplies, bathroom scales, and trash cans should always be away from areas where they may become tripping hazards or stowed away in cabinets and closets to ensure they don’t become tripping hazards.

#9 Lock your Doors
In bathrooms with tight spaces, ensure a lock is installed on the door to prevent others in your home from opening the door and potentially knocking you or another loved one over.

#10 Water and Air Safety
Prevent burns and scalds from hot water by setting your hot water heaters at or below a temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. There are many products including faucets and shower heads with anti-scale features. Prevent overheating by opening the bathroom window or turning on your bathroom’s exhaust fan, which will keep air circulated.