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Seniors and mobility-impaired people in the Lehigh Valley have many options from which to choose when it comes to home safety features and equipment. Power Stair Lifts sells, installs, and maintains power stair lifts, elevators, ramps, vertical lifts, dumbwaiters, and other life-enhancing equipment to help navigate steps and stairs.

However, there are other areas in which people need support and safety.

Most accidents in homes happen in bathrooms. Senior citizens and people with limited mobility are prone to suffer slips and falls in bathrooms because the surfaces are slippery around water.

Studies show that in a typical year, over 200,000 Americans are treated in the emergency wards of hospitals for bathroom-related injuries. Bathrooms are particularly hazardous places. Injuries resulting from falls can range from minor cuts to severe injuries or bone breakages. Some serious cases of bathroom injuries can lead to hip fractures, head contusions, and spinal cord injuries. Though anyone can fall inside the bathroom, senior citizens with poor muscle strength and balance are at increased risk. Here are some risks and recommended safety measures to make bathrooms senior citizen-friendly.

Poor balance while moving in and out of the shower

shower grab bar

Many senior citizens hold towel bars or shower or tub fixtures while climbing in or out of the shower. Towel bars are good for holding towels, but they are not built to support the weight of persons. Therefore, the best way to enter and exit the tub or shower is to install grab bars in easy-to-reach places.

For seniors with good upper-body strength, grab bars are great options. They can gain support from grab bars while moving or standing. The grab bars must, of course, be slip-resistant. Choose grab bars with grip surfaces rather than bars with a smooth finish. It is also a good idea to choose a contrasting color from the wall for better visibility. Plus, professional bolted-on bars are preferable to suction cup bars. Always consult a professional service like Grab Bar Pros of the Lehigh Valley for the safest custom products and installation.

Observe where the elderly person usually holds on while entering the shower and place the grab bars in that location. The idea is to make their behavior safe rather than trying to change their behavior.

A good alternative to grab bars is to install a tension pole from floor to ceiling that would provide adequate support for seniors to gain much-needed balance.

Fittings to enhance balance while showering

Install a shower chair for increased balance during a shower. This will help those that cannot stand for a long time. Good shower chairs come with rubber tips fitted on the legs to help avoid sliding. Used with a hand-held shower head, this can help elders stay seated while having a shower.

Fittings to overcome slippery surfaces

Non-slip mats

Elders are prone to fall while getting in and out of showers or bathtubs. Non-slip mats or decals on the floor of the tub or shower, in addition to a non-slip rug on the floor, provide additional safety while entering or exiting the shower or tub.

A rubber non-slip mat

Mats or non-slip adhesive strips fixed to the bathtub and shower floor surface can provide a highly stable footing. Non-slip adhesive strips can be fixed on top of the sink edges to prevent hand slippage if seniors have the habit of using those surfaces for balance and support.

If you live in Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, Macungie, Schnecksville, Whitehall, Coopersburg, Quakertown, Kutztown, Northampton, Emmaus, Catasauqua, Nazareth, or another Lehigh Valley location, call Power Stair Lifts for a free in-home estimate. We are independently owned and operated—not a franchise—and our mission is to serve our neighbors and community. Click through our site and web pages at powerstairlifts.com or call 484-895-1188 to schedule your free home assessment and estimate.