We use the bathroom every day to freshen up and get ready with mundane activities like brushing our teeth or combing our hair. Statistics of bathroom safety for elderly showed that even the smallest room in your home could be a dangerous place.
According to the report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 235,000 people over the age of 15 have suffered from injuries while inside the bathroom, and about 14 percent of them were confined in the hospitals.
Furthermore, two-thirds of these injuries happened while bathing and showering, and the injuries increase with age; the most number are people who are around 85 years old.
Bathroom safety for the elderly is essential, and this article will cover the most common cause of these injuries and how to prevent them. With correct safety measures, you can lower the injury rate and save a lot of money. An average cost of medical help from bathroom slips is around $19.440 an investing in a piece of safe bathroom equipment can be a lot cheaper.
This article will shed light on bathroom injuries and how to prevent them. Read on and click on the infographic to know more about these alarming incidents among our elderly.
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How Often Do Elderly Get Hurt in the Bathroom?
Seniors are susceptible to bathroom injuries, especially when they are getting in and out of the bathroom and for many reasons. They have poor eyesight, and their reflexes are not as sharp as when they are younger. Also, many have balance issues caused by heart disease, diabetes, and many other health issues. Here is a breakdown of the current statistics related to bathroom injuries among the senior population
36% of All Bathroom Injuries Happen to Seniors 65 Years or Older
According to the statistics released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 235,000 bathroom-related injuries yearly happen to people who are 15 years or older. About 83.400 of them are seniors who are 65 years or older. These injuries are increasing with age, peaking after the age of 85.
81.1% of all Bathroom Injuries Occur from Slips and Falls
Based on the CDC data, it shows that the majority of injuries that occur in the bathroom, about 81 percent of them are due to falls and slips. The slippery nature of the surfaces in the bathroom makes it a dangerous place. However, these injuries can be prevented by using proper safety products lune non-slip mat, bath or shower mat, and grab bars. Slip proofing the bathroom can prevent these injuries.
64% of all Bathroom Injuries Happen to Women
The bathroom injury rate for women is significantly higher than men, upon a closer analysis of the data. This means that the women are at a higher risk than men and this disparity can be attributed to the variations in their physical activity; women have lower body strength, lower bone mass and they are more willing to seek treatment.
13.7% of All patients with Bathroom-related Injuries Are Hospitalized
Further to these injuries, data shows that for every 7th patient that visits the emergency room for bathroom-related injuries ends up in the hospital. According to the CDC, the average cost per person can reach $19.440, including hospital, ER, nursing home, and home care cost.
68.3% of the Accidents Happen in or Around the Shower or Bathtub
Persons aged 85 years or less have the lowest rate (38.9%) of accidents that happen in or around the shower or bathtub. Whereas the proportion of the injuries that occurred on or near the toilet was the highest among persons aged less than 85 years old at 51.7%.
37% of Injuries Represent Sprain, Strain, and Fractures
Strain or sprain, with 19.6%, is the second most common injury in the bathroom, followed by fractures at 17.4%. The age-specific rate for contusions and abrasions are also increasing a lot with age, whereas the rates of strains increased only slightly with age.
Approximately 0.5% of Unintentional Injuries Result in Death
According to the CDC web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS), approximately 0.5% of unintentional injuries result in death.
70% of Seniors Using Shower Stalls Used Unsafe Features
A study has revealed that about one-third of adults over the age of 60 have difficulty climbing in and out of the bathroom or their shower, and more than 70% of them are using unsafe shower stalls with features like only a towel bar or a glass door for support.
Bathroom Accidents Represent 1% of all Non-fatal Injuries
Considering the amount of time people spend in the bathrooms compared to other locations, this percentage is surprisingly low. However, bathroom safety for elderly and all different age-groups should be taken seriously.
~37% Of Injuries Associated with Sitting Down, Getting up, Or Using the Toilet Happens to 65 Yeards old Or Older
Overall, approximately 14% of injuries were associated with standing up from or sitting down when using the toilet. But among the person who is aged less than 65 years old, the proportion of injuries ranges from 19% to 37%. Using a raised toilet seat equipped with safety rails can prevent this type of injury.
Bathroom Safety Tips
With the alarming number of injuries from using the bathroom, particularly among the elders, bathroom safety is a priority. Countless falls and slips can occur in the bathroom and a fresh pair of eyes, a few changes and inclusion of safety measures can make the bathroom a comfortable and safe place for everyone.
Use grab bars for added support
Grabs bars are considered as an essential tool in bathroom safety for elderly care. They can perform two functions: one is to provide the individual with something to grip when moving in and out of the bathtub or when getting off and on the toilet. You can install them anywhere where you need support in the bathroom, and they are an affordable solution. Using alternatives like towel racks are not effective because they cannot hold on too much weight.
Add more traction to prevent slips and falls
Slippery surfaces cause many falls and slips in the bathroom. To prevent slips, you need to install non-slip surfaces on the bathroom floors and in the tub and shower area. You also need to apply non-slip decals on the bathroom tiles because they can be just as slippery. Scattered rugs can also be a cause of slip or trips; you need to remove them.
Use raised toilet seat
Seniors will have a hard time sitting on a standard height toilet seat. Sometimes, bending their knees to sit can cause a fall. Prevent this injury by considering a raised toilet seat. These are special toilet seat attachments that can make it easier to squat for the seniors and provides them more stability compared to the conventional options. They are also inexpensive and can help avoid disastrous accidents.
Use shower chair
Shower chairs add to safety in the shower or the bath. Chairs add to stability and make sure you can’t fail while taking a shower. Bath chairs for adults are designed to make bathing much easier. This is especially recommended for those that have trouble standing up when they want to get out of the bathtub.
The seniors are more prone to bathroom injuries than any other age group. As the data from the CDC shows, 4 out of 5 of injuries are caused by slips and falls.
By installing safety equipment in the bathroom, you can prevent most of these accidents. These measures are affordable and can help save money from the costly medical bills arising from bathroom accidents.
Now that you know how important bathroom safety for the elderly is, it’s time to improve it. If you have any questions, let us know below.