Bathroom safety for seniors is essential because of the potential risks of slipping, tripping, or falling down when performing routine duties in the bathroom. O’Flynn Medical provides bathroom safety equipment for the elderly that can minimise these risks.
By providing fall prevention in the bathroom and a stable way to sit or stand in the shower, shower seats can prevent serious injuries. Shower seats for elderly individuals provide much-needed safety whilst also making visits to the bathroom more dignified for the elderly and their caregivers.
Understanding the Risks
For seniors and individuals with impaired mobility, bathrooms can be challenging spaces to navigate. Some of the common bathroom hazards that seniors face includes wet floors, tight and confined spaces where slipping, tripping, or falling can lead to serious injuries.
These risk factors are compounded for seniors, who may suffer from vision problems, frail bones, and/or joint pain that further reduces mobility. More than a third of all seniors aged 65 and over fall at home every year, with bathroom falls being twice as likely to lead to an injury. Bathroom safety equipment is therefore highly important for minimising these types of risks altogether.
Shower Seats for the Elderly
Shower seats can be seats, benches, stools, or chairs that are placed in the shower stall to allow elderly individuals to sit while showering. There are many different types of shower seats available, such as wall-mounted, freestanding, and foldable seats.
By enabling seniors to remain seated whilst showering, shower seats provide safety by avoiding the risk of slipping or falling. This is facilitated with non-slip materials such as rubber fittings on the seat’s legs.
Benefits of Shower Seats for Seniors
Some of the key benefits of shower seats for seniors include:
- Reduced risk of falling: by keeping the individual seated in the shower, the risks of slipping or falling are greatly reduced;
- Greater comfort: in a seated position, seniors can conveniently and comfortably shower;
- Therapeutic: seniors with limited mobility or other medical conditions may find that shower seats provide them with therapeutic benefits by allowing them to clean themselves at their own pace.
How to Choose the Right Shower Seat?
Choosing the right shower seat for seniors requires an understanding of their specific needs and circumstances as well as the dimensions of the bathroom and shower stall. Consider the following criteria when shopping for a shower seat:
- Size: ensure that the shower seat adequately fits in the shower stall and can accommodate the individual;
- Weight capacity: the shower seat should be capable of holding the weight of the individual;
- Material: since slip and fall prevention are the primary safety benefits of a shower seat, make sure that it is made of durable materials as well as non-slip feet;
- Installation: is the shower seat a simple freestanding stool or chair, or does it need to be mounted to the walls of the shower stall?
Installation and Maintenance
Most shower seats require no installation and are freestanding chairs, stools, or benches that are simply placed in the shower stall. Some, however, require professional installation by fastening the seat to the shower wall. The Irish Government’s Housing Aid for Older People Grant can help offset costs associated with installing shower seats and other safety equipment in the bathroom.
All shower seats should be kept clean and hygienic. Because of their exposure to dirt and bacteria through daily use, caregivers should endeavour to disinfect the seat’s surface just as they should for a shower or bathtub. Moreover, frequently check for signs of wear and tear to keep the shower seat in good condition and to promote ongoing safety in the bathroom.
Additional Bathroom Safety Tips
In addition to shower seats, elderly individuals can enjoy the bathroom safely with these tips:
- Install grab bars: wall-mounted grab rails can greatly improve safety for seniors by facilitating the transitional movements to/from the toilet or shower;
- Use non-slip mats: all areas prone to being wet can lead to slips and falls. Non-slip mats greatly reduce these risks;
- Bathroom lighting: proper illumination is essential in the bathroom for seniors since it allows them to safely navigate the bathroom at all times.
Shower Seats at O’Flynn Medical
O’Flynn Medical is a trusted supplier of healthcare and bariatric equipment in Ireland, including shower chairs and commodes, raised toilet seats, and shower seats. Take advantage of our nationwide delivery in Ireland and contact our friendly support team with any enquiries regarding our services or products.
Shower seats are an essential addition to any bathroom for seniors. The need for safety equipment in the bathroom is paramount, but shower seats also provide additional benefits such as greater comfort and convenience in the shower. Additionally, it also offers greater sense of dignity and privacy since some seniors may be able to perform their bathroom duties without the need for a caregiver present.
Prioritise bathroom safety for your elderly loved ones and purchase a high-quality shower seat from us at O’Flynn Medical.