Home Safe Home: Preventing Falls Among the Disabled

Woman standing on the anti-slip mat

Falls in the bathrooms are one of the most common causes of injury among the disabled. This isn’t surprising, given that the area has smooth, slippery surfaces, making movements unstable.

It’s especially crucial for loved ones of the disabled to create an environment, where patients are able to move around better — and safer.

Trouble-Free Toilets

Since toilets are the most used fixture in the bathroom, it’s worth rethinking if it’s disabled-friendly. Start by considering the location of the toilet. The rule is that it should be accessible — accessible enough to transfer a patient from a wheelchair easily.

Remember that when moving, it’s best to have a portable patient lift, so it’s easy to support and secure the body. Make sure that the toilet is clear from possible obstructions, such as cabinets or houseplants. A raised toilet seat may also help, especially for disabled people that have limited knee movements.

Basics for Baths

For bathing, it’s important to consider the basic question: Would patients be more comfortable in a tub or in a shower?

If it’s the former, you may choose bathtubs that are height-adjustable or the walk-in type. If it’s the latter and the patient finds it difficult to stand for some time, having wheeled shower chairs can help. These chairs have rubber grips on the legs, which provide that stability.

Safety in Slippery Areas

Another thing you should consider is the bathroom floors. Slips often happen because of floors left wet. Traditional rugs and mats just won’t cut it. What you need are bath mats specially designed to have a firmer grip on the floor and are self-draining.

Be strategic when placing bath mats. It should be near the toilet so that puddles of water will be avoided near this often-used fixture. Bath mats must be near sinks as well since water splashes are common in this area.

No place at home should be dangerous for the disabled. Make your home, especially your bathroom, safe for them by having these features.