According to the NIA (National Institute on Aging) more than 33% of people over the age of 65 will experience a fall each year. Almost 80% of these falls occur in the bathroom.
In fact, according to a report issued by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, in 2014 alone, older Americans experienced 29 million falls causing seven million injuries. That number increases every year with thousands of people turning 65 each day.
Elderly individuals are especially prone to falls primarily because of reduced vision, balance issues, mobility problems as a result of medical issues, and various other medical conditions.
“Older adult falls are increasing and, sadly, often herald the end of independence,” said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden in a press statement.
The good news is there are some very simple DIY projects that can help you or a loved one prevent falls and injuries in the bathroom:
1) Add grab bars inside and outside of your tub or shower and next to the toilet.
Installing grab bars, or shower safety bars, in your bathroom is one of the most effective and cost efficient ways to prevent falls in your bathroom. If you’re over the age of 65 or have mobility issues, grab bars are a must!
Refer to ADA guidelines for help in deciding where to install grab bars. Always mount grab bars directly to studs that sit behind the wall. If it’s impossible to fasten the grab bar to a stud, use an ADA rated anchoring device (these devices can support individuals weighing up to 300 pounds).
Installing grab bars is a relatively simple DIY project if you have the right tools and a little bit of experience with these types of home projects. However, if you’re uncomfortable completing this project on your own and you’re looking for professional grab bar installation in Dallas or Fort Worth, contact Golden Years Renovations LLC. We’ll help you determine the best location for grab bars and install them at a low cost.
2) Increase lighting by changing fixtures or using brighter light bulbs.
It’s no secret that as we age our vision deteriorates. A lack of vision or low lighting in the bathroom can spell trouble…trouble that is completely preventable.
Check the bulb sockets on the fixtures in your bathroom to determine the max watt/amp rating. Assuming the existing bulbs are less than the maximum, replace the bulbs with one’s that meet the maximum (do not replace with bulbs that exceed the maximum allowed). If you’re unsure of what the max watt/amp are, contact the manufacturer for help.
If you’re already using bulbs that meet the max watt/amp rating on each of the fixtures in your bathroom, look for replacement fixtures that provide more light. Replacing a fixture is relatively easy. If you’re uncomfortable replacing fixtures, a local handyman, or Golden Years Renovations LLC in Dallas, can do it for you at a nominal cost.
3) Organize your bathroom to reduce clutter and things you could trip over.
This is perhaps the easiest “project” on this list. Reduce the clutter in your bathroom and prevent falling over stray objects by organizing your bathroom.
4) Add a non-slip mat in front of the sink.
Another easy project is to place a non-slip mat in front of our sink. Stylish non-slip mats can be purchased at almost any big box retailer for a relatively low cost.
5) Apply non-slip adhesive strips or a non-slip coating to tub or shower floors.
Most big box home improvement stores sell non-slip strips that can be applied to your tub or shower floors. Typically these non-slip strips have an adhesive backing that you simply apply to the floor’s surface. One disclaimer about these strips, they tend to wear out pretty quickly so make sure you replace them as soon as they begin to lose their grip.
Another option, which is a little trickier, is applying a non-slip coating to your tub or shower floor. There are a few manufactures that make these types of products and most sell via big box home improvement stores. If you’re worried about applying this type of product on your own and you live in Dallas or Fort Worth, Golden Years Renovations LLC can professionally apply non-slip coatings for a low price.
Preventing falls is extremely important for individuals who are over the age of 65 or for individuals experiencing problems with mobility. A few simple DIY projects could dramatically decrease your risk of getting seriously injured from falling. If you live in the DFW area, contact Golden Years Renovations LLC who can help you with all of your bathroom safety needs.