How to Enhance Bathing Safety for Older Adults

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Most seniors want to maintain their independence, but some are leery of taking a bath for fear of falling. While advancing in age can be a risk factor for diminished bathing safety, there are certain things that can be done to help older adults feel more secure.

Monitor Vision

Many slips and falls that occur in the bathtub or shower are a result of poor vision, including blurred, dim, or double vision, seeing spots, floaters, or flashes before the eyes, and dry eyes. While dry eyes don’t always alter vision, they can cause irritation and sensitivity to light, which can lead to disorientation in the bathtub. As people get older, they may develop ocular conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. While these health issues can cause total vision loss, they are manageable. 

If you discover your elderly loved one has impaired vision, make an appointment with an eye doctor. With the proper treatment, such as eye drops, a change in eyeglass prescription, or laser surgery, you can increase bathing safety for your loved one.

Hiring a professional caregiver is another way to make bathing a safer activity for your loved one. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Placer County seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.  

Watch for Medication Side Effects

Many seniors take a myriad of medications, which can lead to dangerous side effects, heightening the risk for falls in the bathtub. To increase bathing safety, monitor for side effects such as dizziness, unsteadiness, changes in vision, weakness, and headaches, and report them to your loved one’s physician. If medication side effects put your loved one in danger of a bathtub accident, the doctor can lower the dosage or recommend a different medication altogether. When you notice side effects after your loved one takes medication, never advise him or her to discontinue the medication without getting the approval from the doctor first. Doing so could lead to serious complications such as blood pressure issues, cardiovascular events, and stroke.

Manage Chronic Illnesses

Chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, and osteoporosis can cause lightheadedness, joint pain, general weakness, and limited mobility. Symptoms such as these could make your loved one afraid of bathing or showering. Work with the physician to help your loved one manage chronic illnesses and keep bathroom slips and falls at bay.

Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in home care. Placer County seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.  

Ensure Adequate Hydration

Advancing age can cause a person to lose the sensation of thirst. Dehydration, in addition to contributing to poor skin turgor, headache, and sticky mucous membranes, can cause profound dizziness and disorientation. Make sure your loved one drinks water throughout the day. Caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, and cola should be avoided because they can create a diuretic effect that increases urinary frequency.

Older adults who need help bathing, cleaning, and managing other tasks should consider professional in-home care. Placer County home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. To hire a competent care expert for your elderly loved one, call Home Care Assistance at 916.226.3737 today.

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