Common Bathroom Hazards for Elderly Users
Common toilet hazards for the elderly
Slippery surfaces and sharp objects in home toilets make using the bathroom extremely dangerous for the elderly. Here are 4 common toilet hazards and ways to ensure a safer bathroom environment for our loved ones.
Common support points by elderly in the toilet
1. Shower screens
With higher risk of falling among the elderly, a potential fall or collision into the glass panels can cause the glass to shatter and injure bathroom users.
Spontaneous glass breakage can also occur in tempered glass with internal defects or from thermal shock.
Such cases of glass breakage are not new. In 2015, a man in Jurong died after falling through a glass panel in the toilet. More recently in 2018, 2 girls suffered injuries when the glass screen in their toilet shattered spontaneously during their shower.
On top of that, after shower is taken, the surface of the shower screen becomes very slippery. If the shower screen is a support point of contact for the elderly, it makes transiting in the toilet very dangerous.
2. Sliding screen doors can be a challenging for the elderly to move
Decreased muscular strength and mobility impairment can make moving glass doors difficult for seniors. This poses danger in bathrooms where slippery surfaces add to the risk of falling and injury.
3. Using the basin as support
Seniors who experience balancing and mobility issues may use the basin to support themselves in the toilet. This can cause them to fall as sinks are not designed to provide stable support.
4. Having a shower seat that is too low or slippery
Weak leg muscles and balance issues make it hard for seniors to sit down or get up from low or slippery shower seats. In turn, the difficulty transitioning on and off the seat increases their risk of bad falls.
5. Elevated ledges
Navigating steps and changes in walking surfaces can be difficult for seniors with weak leg muscles and mobility issues. The need to step over elevated ledges onto slippery surfaces increases the risk of tripping and falling.
Elevated surfaces also pose inconvenience and added danger for elderly who depend on aids like wheelchairs or walking frames to move around.
Common toilet installation to create a safe environment for elderly
Grab Bars/ Supporting Bars
Elderly falls can be mitigated by placing interlocking anti-slip mats on the floor for added stability when transiting in the bathroom.
Rapid Absorb Mat provides non-slip solutions that are easy to install in bathrooms. Medical Assistance4u’s rapid absorb mats comes with an anti-slip layer that keeps the mat in place when pressure is placed on it.
At Medical Assistance4u
With medically trained staff, our team at Medical Assistance4u can provide you with consultation services to assist you to find the most suitable tools and equipment.