Believe it or not, bathrooms are the most dangerous place in your house and that risk goes up as we get older. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, millions of older people fall each year. Falling for seniors can be deadly, especially for those who fall alone. Knowing what to do after falling in the shower can be key.
So, what should you do after falling in the shower? It is very important to lie still and try and regain your composure. Breath deeply to catch your breath and to get over any shock you may have from the fall. If you are hurt do not attempt to move. Once you calm yourself check for cuts or broken bones you may have. if you are bleeding apply pressure with a towel or your hand. Try and stay calm and yell for help or if you have a waterproof device that can call 911 use it. Or if a phone is close dial 911.
Falling in the shower can be dangerous and knowing what to do after falling can be the difference between a close call and something much more serious. Making the right decisions and having a plan in place can help you or a loved one if a fall happens.
Why do people fall in the shower?
Bathrooms in general can be a very dangerous place for seniors. There is a combination of factors that make falling in the shower higher than in other places. For one, the water can make things slick.
Next, transferring to and from the shower increases the chance a fall will happen simply because the elderly have to raise their legs up in some instances when a walk-in shower is not an option.
It becomes even more dangerous when you think about the confined space of some baths. Falling will almost always lead to other impacts on the body from heading heads on sinks, rims of tubs, and toilets making for a dangerous situation.
What conditions likely lead to falling?
This is a two-part answer to this question. The conditions that can lead up to a fall can be either condition that is in the bathroom like tripping hazards, wet floors, and other conditions that would increase the chances of falling.
The other factor would be the condition of the person that fell. Were they on medicine, do they have mobility issues, do they have low blood pressure or other medical conditions that would increase your likely hood of falling?
Conditions of the bathroom that would increase a fall:
- Wet floors
- Poor lighting
- Towels or other things on the floor that increase tripping
- No grab bars
- Toilet seat to low
- The shower floor has mildew
If you fall what should you do?
If you do fall be sure to take a second to collect your breath and take a minute to get over the shock you may be in after falling. Like we stated above do not attempt to move right away.
Try and check yourself and see if you have pain anywhere once you calm down. It is not uncommon to be seriously injured but because you in shock you do not feel the pain. Once the shock wheres off is when you may feel pain and realize you are hurt.
If you are cut try and apply pressure with a washcloth, towel, or your hand if that is all you have. Try not to panic and if you have a telephone or an emergency pendant try calling or pressing the button to alert someone. Also, try and yell for help someone that is in the home or around the house may also hear you.
If you do not have an emergency alert aid on you you may want to think about getting one, especially if you still live alone. If not, try and bring a mobile phone, or landline phone in the bathroom within reaching range if you fall if possible.
Do you need to go to the Emergency after a fall?
This depends on if you hit your head or find yourself in a lot of pain. Even if you feel like you did not hurt yourself bad you never know what internal damage might have been done.
If you feel better about going to the emergency room to get check out after the fall we would highly suggest doing soon to double-check and give yourself peace of mind.
How can you help prevent falling
Adding safety features to a bathroom for seniors or for those with limited mobility will help in reducing the chances of a fall and seriously getting hurt. There are some things you can do to make things safer for yourself or a loved one.
- Use a non-slip mat for seniors to get out and in the bath to minimize wet slippery floors.
- Add in shower, tub, toilet grab bars to help with stability and balance.
- Use toilet set risers or if you are getting a new toilet get a higher one than a standard size toilet for getting on and off easier.
- Use a shower chair to minimize the risk of falling once in a tub. A shower chair is a great way to gain stability and independence.
- Use transfer boards to help get out of a wheelchair onto a toilet.
- Make sure there is enough lighting in the bathroom at all times. As we get older our site may not be as good as it once was leading to tripping over stuff normally we wouldn’t.