Ailments associated with ageing, such as Parkinson’s disease and dementia, can make it difficult and even dangerous for seniors to take care of once-simple tasks like bathing. However, there are a variety of ways to increase safety in the shower. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of aged home care Perth families trust, has put together this list of tips to help you provide your elderly loved one with a safer bathing experience.
Install Grab Bars Next to the Shower
Seniors can slip and fall when using a towel rack or bar to help them get into the bath or shower. Towel bars aren’t firmly attached to the wall, nor are they designed to hold a large amount of weight. Install your loved one’s grab bar next to the shower, approximately 33 to 36 inches off of the ground. The bar should be attached to studs in the wall to make it sturdy. You may also want to consider replacing the towel bar with a grab bar as well to prevent your loved one from grabbing it out of habit.
Check the Water Heater Temperature
Many seniors aren’t able to determine if their bath or shower water is too hot due to medical conditions or medications that affect their nerves. Your loved one’s skin is likely thinner and more fragile than it was when he or she was younger, and water that is too hot can cause deep burns on this type of skin. The water heater temperature should never be higher than 120 degrees to prevent burns and discomfort while bathing.
Use Slip-Resistant Mats
Instead of installing small decals on the shower floor to prevent slipping, consider using a large mat that fits the entire surface of your loved one’s bath or shower. Outside of the tub, you can also place double-sided tape or small slip-resistant decals on the back of floor rugs. This helps the rugs from moving on the slick tile when your loved one gets out of the bathtub.
Purchase a Handheld Showerhead
Your loved one can slip while in the shower, but a handheld showerhead can help him or her bathe more safely. If your loved one’s shower has a shower seat or stool, this type of showerhead can also assist him or her in getting cleaned properly without having to bend over or turn to reach the water.
It can be distressing to think about your loved one having an accident while bathing, especially if you are not available to assist him or her. However, having a part-time or live-in caregiver from Home Care Assistance around can help keep your loved one safe. For instance, if your loved one needs Perth Parkinson’s care, our caregivers can assist with mobility during bathing or while he or she performs a variety of other tasks, including exercise, cooking, and grooming. For more information on our aged care services, call one of our qualified Care Managers at [hca_phone] to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.