Helpful Hints

How to make taking bath safer

Bathrooms can be hazardous for many older patients.  However, low vision patients can be much more at risk for accidents in bathrooms.  Most of these patients live in homes with bathrooms that are all one color.  This uniform color scheme, obviously, offers no contrast.  The bathtub is the same color as the floor tiles.  Low vision patients can easily misjudge the correct height to lift their legs when getting into the tub.  It is just as problematic to lift their leg too little as too much.  Either way a fall can occur.  When we work with patients, we make two important suggestions.  First, we mark the edge of the bathtub with a strip of contrasting tape.  That way it is much easier for the patient to see the tub and know how high to lift her leg.  Another recommendation is to help arrange for grab bars to be installed.  We then wrap contrasting tape around the grab bar to make it easier to see.  The grab bar makes it less difficult to get into the tub and can make a real difference if someone is having a fall.  These steps cannot prevent falls all the time but they certainly can reduce the likelihood of a fall from happening.