Slips and falls are the single most common cause of injury in New Zealand. If you’re over 65 you have a one in three chance of having a fall this year — the risk increases to one in two for the over 80.
Fear of falls leads some people to restrict their daily activities. Sadly, this not only affects the quality of life, it can actually increase the risk of falls.
Staying active can help improve balance, strength and flexibility, and keep bones stronger — all great things that help to reduce falls and minimise injuries.
In addition to keeping active and managing your health, another good way to reduce risk is to make your home safer.
This year 17,000 accidents will happen in New Zealand bathrooms. Here are a few tips to make your bathroom safer.
- Keep the room well-lit. Choose frosted bulbs to reduce glare.
- Reduce moisture. Make sure your shower curtain or shower door seals are in good condition and keep water off the floor. Use an absorbent bathmat with a non-slip backing to step on after your shower, and mop up any spills. If you have an extractor fan, be sure to use it to eliminate moisture from the air.
- Use a non-slip mat in your shower and bath. Look for a mat with openings to allow water to drain and suction caps on the bottom to keep them securely in place.
- Keep the floor clear of objects. It’s a good idea to keep towels and clothing off the floor and keep items like bathroom scales and toilet accessories tucked well away.
- Place things in easy reach. Keep toiletries off the shower floor and pop them in an easily accessed caddy instead. Have towels in arm’s reach too.
- Install rails next to the toilet, in the shower and over the bath. It’s important to have all handrails installed by a qualified person so you can feel confident that they provide the safety and support you need.
Visit your Mobility Centre Store and have a chat about the best way to make your bathroom safer, and start loving your shower time again.
Read our article about preventing falls, Live stronger for longer by staying active.