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Keeping Mom and Dad safe in their home

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As our parents age it is the children’s job to make sure that mom and dad are safe in their home as falls in the bathroom increase in people who are 65 and older. This is due to poor circulation, certain diseases such as diabetic neuropathy (numbness in the feet), high blood or low blood pressure not to mention osteoporosis which makes the bones more susceptible to breaking during a fall.

As children get older it is only natural for them to leave home and go about their own life which leaves mom and dad by themselves. When the children are busy with their own families and careers visiting mom and dad generally become less and less. Keep your parents safe while you are away and help prevent a bathroom accident by haing grab bars installed in their home.

Purchase an elevated toilet so elderly parents do not have to bend down so far.

Install grab bars next to the toilet to provide extra support while getting on and off of the toilet.

Install grab bars in the bathtub or shower enclosure so your parents have something to hold onto in the event they loose their balance.

Install a hand-held shower along with a bathtub bench or chair so your parents do not have to stand while taking a shower or try to stoop low to sit inside of the bathtub.

Reduce the hot water temperature to less than 120 degrees to prevent scalding on thin elderly skin.

Keep a nightlight in the bathroom on at all times. This will prevent your elderly parents from tripping over the bathroom rug in the middle of the night as the elderly tend to shuffle their feet.

Use rubber non-skid mats or decals in the bathtub or shower enclosure.

Place shelving in the tub or shower so shampoo and soap can be reached easily.

Install a toilet grab bar so your parents can have better stability while getting on and off of the toilet.

Install a bathtub rail for stability and something to grab onto while exiting and entering the tub area.

Our parents took care of us for many years, it is our time to take care of our parents and make sure they are safe just like they did for us. This is what family is all about. Your parents will definitely appreciate your help.

August 11, 2013 |

Grab Bar Safety Tips

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Bathroom safety is paramount for elderly parents, as most accidents and falls happen in the bathroom. Here are six tips for grab bar placement and safety for you or your elderly parent’s home.

Grab Bar Height

There is no standard height requirement for residential installation of grab bars, and everyone’s needs are different. But as a rule of thumb, in ADA-compliant bathrooms, grab bars are installed 33-inches to 36-inches off the finished floor.

Grab Bar Length

Grab bars should cover as much of the shower wall as possible. If you have a large shower, have a bar for each wall to ensure safety.

Attach to Studs

Your grab bars will be rock-solid if you anchor them to studs. Find the studs near your proposed grab bar location using a stud sensor.

Test Strength

You’re not done until you yank-test. Give the bars a good solid yank to test their holding power. With a helper standing by in case the bar comes loose, pull with all your strength. Now’s the time to make sure the bar will hold up when it’s really needed.

Proper Placement

Even a solidly anchored grab bar is useless if it’s in the wrong place. What location is best depends on the situation. If you’re installing the bars for a person with a disability or injury, have this person help you decide which location will be most helpful. A physical therapist or an occupational therapist also can help with this decision.

Placement Suggestions

Here are some locations where grab bars are helpful:

Outside of the Shower or Tub. Having a small grab bar placed vertically outside of the shower or tub entry is great for assistance stepping to and from a wet surface.

Tub Deck. Soaking tubs are all the rage in bathroom design. However, trouble can come quickly if someone is unable to exit the tub. Install a grab bar on the wall behind the tub and/or a small grab bar on the tub deck. Be sure the grab bar is in a place where a foot cannot trip on it while entering or exiting a tub.

Towel Bars with Strength. Let’s face it, when you are about to fall you’ll grab on to anything close by – including a towel bar. Why not make towel bars safer by replacing them with grab bars?

Toilet Paper Holder. For those who have a hard time getting up from a seated position, there are some grab bars that can also be used as a toilet paper holder, while still maintaining its strength of supporting 250 pounds of force.

August 10, 2013 |
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