Bathroom Safety: Bathtub

Bathroom Safety: Bathtub

The answer is, unfortunately, yes. The fact is, everyone is at risk. From infants and children to the very elderly anyone can be hurt while performing common daily tasks in the bathroom. The most common dangers include slips and falls, burns from scalding water, and electrical shock.

For those over 65 years of age, the statistics point to devastating loss of independence particularly in the case of falls. In fact, 30% of seniors living in the community fall every year and for those over 80, the risk increases to 40%. Of these falls, 85% occur right in the home.

While we are all in danger, some of us are more so than others, especially if you have just had a stroke. Partial paralysis, loss of dexterity, changed perception of the environment, and sometimes impaired thought processes, after a stroke can increase the challenge of staying safe in the bathroom.

The good news is that you can take measures to prevent many of these falls and maximize your safety. You can maintain your dignity, independence, and privacy by making a few specific modifications and/or changes to the bathroom environment that suit your individual needs.

If you decide to investigate your bathroom safety and equipment options in greater detail – CONGRATULATIONS!! You are taking an important step in promoting your own health, safety, and independence.

Warning signs that you may fall Recommendations

  • Difficulties getting on/off
  • Lose balance while adjusting clothing

  • Grab bars – wall mounted
  • Safety rails – attached to toilet using existing hardware of seat
  • Raised toilet seat – 2 inches can make a difference!  Some models have grab bars attached
  • Modify clothes for easy on/off

  • Lose balance when stepping in/out
  • Fearful
  • Fatigue when bathing
  • Scalding water

  • Bathmats and Non-skid surfaces.Some bathmats have an integrated temperature sensor to provide visual feedback of dangerous water temperatures (*Bathmats are considered universal precautions and are recommended for all age groups, with or without mobility, sensory or cognitive impairments.)
  • Grab bars or a bath safety rail
  • Bath chair – there are many different styles
  • Bath board or transfer bench – eliminates the need to step over the edge of the tub and allows safe and independent entry.
  • Use an anti-scald device (including bathmat as described above) and/or turn down hot water thermostat.
  • Hand held shower

  • Fatigue or dizziness

  • Sit on a stool
Difficulty seeing
  • Adequate lighting
  • Clear plastic shower curtain
  • Mirror magnifier
  • Contrasting colours