Avoiding falls and preventing secondary injuries are an important goal for both Occupational and Physical therapy. The risk of a fall is increased and has the possibility of more severe injuries in the bathroom. Therefore, it is important to take precautions while showering/bathing to ensure safety.
Some recommendations include:
1) Modify your bathroom
a. Use a shower seat. There are many options for a shower seat. You can get a tub transfer bench that starts on the outside of the tub and ends in the tub so that you do not have to step over a side of the tub or a simple standard seat to fit inside of the shower/tub. Ask your Occupational or Physical Therapist for recommendations.
b. Install grab bars. Place grab bars strategically around the bathroom to assist with transfers. Do not rely on towel racks or door handles for those can easily pull out of the wall or the vertical surface.
c. Place non-skid strips or mats at the base of the shower/tub to increase stability of slippery surface.
d. Explore use of a shower wand when sitting.
2) Sit on the shower seat/tub bench during moments when balance is a concern. For example-when having eyes closed to wash hair, to wash feet and during bending motions when dizziness occurs.
3) Make slow, purposeful movements. Avoid rushing when showering.
4) Ensure proper lighting in the bathroom.
5) Make sure that your feet are completely dry before stepping out of the shower/tub.
6) Decrease clutter around the tub.
7) Ask for help.