Over the past few decades, we have made the world safer in so many different ways.
We use seatbelts when driving in our airbag- and antilock brake-equipped cars. We wear helmets when bicycling, skiing, and rollerblading. We require safety fencing around pools and many people install pool alarms to let them know if someone falls in. If we're truly concerned about safety, why do so many of us leave those concerns at the bathroom door and ignore bathroom safety?
The bathroom is one of the most potentially dangerous rooms in the home, particularly for older adults.
Why? Let's start with the wet and slippery surfaces, loose rugs, and sharp corners. Next, add in the physical challenges many older adults experience: difficulty with balance getting in and out of the bath or shower; trouble bending and reaching to adjust water temperature or wash body parts; difficulty seeing without glasses or contact lenses. It makes for one seriously dangerous mix. Statistics are hard to isolate, but a CDC report credits bathroom accidents with causing over 234,000 injuries in 2008. Among older adults, bathroom incidents accounted for 2.5 % of all unintentional injuries.
The frustrating thing is, so many of these injuries can be avoided by using simple, easily-affordable bathroom safety devices. Many of them make bathing safer and more convenient for people of any age, not just older adults. So why do so many of us choose not to make our bathrooms as safe as they can be? We explored this question with some recent bathroom safety converts.
Many people say, " I don't want my bathroom to look like a medical institution. Hospitals and nursing homes have bars next to the toilet and shower and that's what people often associated grab bars with.
It's true that medical facilities have safety bars in the bathrooms. But it isn't a grab bar that makes a medical facility look institutional. What's ironic is that a set of grab bars could be the very thing that keeps you out of a hospital setting.
Nearly 80 % of bathroom injuries are caused by falls, which can cause serious injuries such as hip fractures in older adults.
With two thirds of bathroom injuries occurring in the tub or shower, it's easy to see this is a major safety hot spot. And it begs the question: if everyone had grab bars in their shower, how many fewer injuries would occur each year?
Grab bars don't have to be difficult to install. EZ Able offers both traditionally-mounted grab bars in sizes from 12 - 32 inches. We also offer L-Shaped, Wall Wrapping and Fold Down Grab bars. We also offer secure grab bars with no-drill installation and even suction cup-mounted grab bars for the most ease and portability. The amount of effort required to install these bars is so minimal, while the potential safety benefit immense.
For millions of Americans with compromised mobility, relearning how to safely navigate becomes a daily concern. And as our society becomes more aware of the needs of people with mobility issues, the number of creative and attractive solutions grows.
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