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You might believe the kitchen, using its hot cookers and utensils that are sharp, would be the most dangerous room in your home, but it’s actually the bathroom. Based on a 2011 report in the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls most regularly occurred in or around the tub, shower, or toilet.
“We get lots of calls for slides and falls in the restroom,” says Howard Mell, M.D., a spokesman for the American College of Emergency Physicians who works at several hospitals in Cleveland.
The bathroom is especially dangerous for women, who are at a greater risk than men for falling and getting hurt, perhaps due to lesser body strength and bone mass.
For those age 65 and older, falls frequently cause serious injuries, like hip fractures. Seniors, as stated by the report, were more likely to be injured getting on or off the bathroom. After sitting for quite a while, and then standing, particularly when you’re dehydrated or taking medications, can result in a sudden fall in blood pressure that can bring about light- headedness or dizziness.
But few people have toilets which are equipped with grab bars, a protected safety device which could prevent drops and looks like a railing. Here are other modifications you may make to your bathroom to make it a safer place.
So you don’t reach for towel bars, sliding glass doors, or alternative unstable fixtures:
- Install grab bars in showers and baths and next to toilets.
- Replace slippery bathroom floors with nonslip tiles. The Tile Council of North America has lately embraced a fresh slip-resistance evaluation called the Dynamic Coefficient of Friction (DCOF). This number is sometimes on tile packaging but can be a problem too, so consult with your health professional.
- Use nonslip mats inside showers and tubs and on floors.
- Install a hand-held showerhead set on a sliding bar with a 6-foot hose that may be properly used when sitting or standing.
- Install a “comfort height” toilet, which can be about 2 inches taller than a standard version and is simpler to get off of.
- Lower your water heater to 120° F.