Bathrooms are one of the more dangerous areas when it comes to falls. First, the floor is often tile or linoleum, which are slippery surfaces when they get wet. Second, there are a lot of hard surfaces in tight quarters. Among people age 85 or older, the number of injuries in bathroom falls at approximately 39 percent (tub or shower) and 52 percent (toilet). Having elderly care services around could cut down those statistics.
When someone falls in the bathroom, there is the hard edge of the bathtub or toilet. There are metal items like the bathtub spout, the radiator, or the heat registers. The hard flooring has very little give, so head injuries are likely if your head hits the hard surface. When your mom falls in the bathroom, what should you do?
If you’re in the home when she falls, make sure she doesn’t try to get up. Sit with her for a few minutes and check for injuries. Severe pain, dizziness, and bleeding are signs to watch for. If she feels okay, help her get to her feet. Walk her to a chair or sofa and start discussing what led to the fall.
Don’t move her if she seems to be hurt or is bleeding. Get a towel, apply pressure to the wound, and call paramedics. She should be evaluated at the hospital.
Go Over the Reason She Fell
You want to know why she fell. Medications can cause dizziness. If she took her pill and felt dizzy shortly after, she needs to stop taking the drug right before a shower. She could shower first and take her medicine or take it and wait.
If she felt dizzy because her blood sugar levels were too low, she should eat a meal or snack before showering. She may have slipped on wet tiles. Put down non-slip bath mats inside and outside of the tub or shower for traction.
Install Grab Bars
Install grab bars inside the tub or shower stall. Make sure they’re secured to wall studs and not just the sheetrock or tile work. You also want them near the toilet and outside of the shower or bathtub.
Grab bars give her something to grab if she feels like she’s going to fall. They won’t always stop her from falling, but they can slow her fall and keep her from an injury.
It’s Time to Discuss Elderly Care
It’s probably time to talk about elderly care services. If your mom takes a medication that makes her lightheaded or nauseous, she needs someone in the home when she showers. If she’s unsteady on her feet, a caregiver needs to be there. She’ll have support while getting in and out of the bathtub or shower stall.
Elderly care is also helpful after a fall. Your mom’s caregivers can drive her to follow-up appointments. They’ll prepare her meals and snacks and ensure she eats regularly. Plus, she has someone to help her go for walks, work on her therapeutic exercises, and call the doctor if she needs to schedule a check-up. Get started by calling our specialist in elderly care.