Each year, thousands of Baby Boomers retire to live their lives out joyously pursuing life-long hobbies or indulging in their passion for travel, taking on new challenges, and if they’ve planned for it financially, living out their golden years with ease. They may downsize to a smaller house, or move in with their children to cut down on costs. They carefully plan to tick off the items on their bucket list. As much as their children caution them to not trust strangers, protect themselves from identity theft and break-ins, most are unaware that the biggest threat to their well-being might not be lurking on the dark web, but right in their own bathroom. One in four seniors over the age of 65 will fall at least once a year. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and near-fatal injuries for seniors. Those over the age of 65 to age 85 are prone to falls in the bathroom, and women in particular are vulnerable to falls in the tub, shower and from getting on and off the toilet.
Head injuries are the most common area affected in a bathroom fall. When you choose to remodel a shower or bath, it’s important to think about aging in place, or safeguarding the seniors who might already be in the home High end finishes and marble enclosures will mean little if you lose a loved one because you didn’t install a simple grab bar they could hold onto to help them get out of the tub. Falls threaten the independence of a person and can lead to economic and personal loss. There should be grab bars included in the design of your tub or shower.
One woman found her dad slumped over in the shower, entangled in the shower curtain and rod, after trying to pull himself up with it. She moved him into her home, and remodeled the bathroom in a western motif he loved using bath room accessories from Tractor Supply she purchased with a Groupon. She loved saving as much as 50% on summer clearance items with a code good for online or instore purchases. He grew up on a farm in Texas and really got a kick out of the barbed wire motif used to decorate his soap dish and toothbrush holder. And he appreciated the care she put into upgrading the tub and shower with grab bars, non-slip rubber mats and other touches to keep him safe. But the steer horns she installed for towel holders got a smile as big as Texas out of him. He took one look and proclaimed, “Hook ‘emHorns!.”