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Using Bathroom Technology Alongside Senior Alerts for Bathrooms

Senior alerts for bathroom use are essential. According to the CDC, 1.6 million older adults seek emergency care for fall-related injuries each year. The National Institute on Aging reports that 80 percent of falls in seniors over the age of 65 are in the bathroom. As a result, it is essential for seniors to create a safe bathroom space. Slippery floors and hard surfaces make the bathroom dangerous for older adults.  Although 85 percent of those taken to the hospital for bathroom falls were treated and released, their injuries resulted in about $67.3 billion in lifetime medical costs, according to the CDC. Many of these falls can be prevented by making the bathroom more accessible.

There is only so much help senior alerts for bathroom use can provide. While these devices are essential to senior safety, we encourage our members to reduce the risk of falls in the home. The safest option is to never need to use your medical alert system in the bathroom. Luckily, recent technological advancement has introduced products designed to make the bathroom safer and easier to use than ever before. We had the opportunity to review some of these new bathroom safety products. We hope you’ll consider adding any of these safety tools to your household.

Bath Lifts

Bathlift
Drive Medical® AquaJoy

Overview

According to the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, 2.5 million seniors have difficulty bathing. Many older homes have bathtubs instead of showers, and many seniors have difficulty lowering themselves into the bath. Bath lifts allow seniors to enjoy a laid-back bath with a reduced risk of slipping.   

These lifts are controlled by hand-held remotes with easily pushed rocker switches. The user sits on the seat and the chair slowly lowers into the water. Reclining features allow the senior to recline and relax like they would normally. They carefully move you in and out of the bath, eliminating the need to step over the lip of the tub and lower into the water. 

How Can it Help?

This device helps seniors keep clean and allows them to enjoy the bathing process and enter the bathtub on their own.  When the senior does not need help in and out of the tub, their caregiver can give them their privacy. This is one less task for the caregiver and the senior will appreciate the independence.  

More expensive than most senior alerts for bathrooms, bath lift prices range from a couple hundred dollars to $1000 - there is flexibility for those with different price points. They are cheaper and easier to install than replacing the bathtub with a shower. Installation is simple and does not need to be done by a professional - most bath lifts are held on by strong suction cups. For seniors with a particular set of needs, this product is a must-have. 

Grab Bars

Grab Bar
Grab Bars by Lumex®

Overview

Grab bars are essential in making a bathroom accessible for seniors. Placed around the room, in the shower and beside the toilet, they help seniors balance when they feel unsteady. Next to the toilet, they assist those who have difficulty sitting or rising from a seated position. In the shower or bathtub, they reduce the risk of falls by helping seniors keep their balance while maneuvering into and out of the shower/tub.   

Grab bars are not a new technology, but they now come in a variety of styles for those who need support. They can be placed on any wall where the senior needs more support. For the aesthetic-conscious they come in a variety of finishings to match any bathroom style. These modern updates make the essential grab bar worth noting. 

How Can it Help?

Grab bars help seniors feel more secure and reduce their risk of falling. Everyone prefers to have privacy in the bathroom, and when seniors can navigate that space alone, they’re likely to feel more independent. Alongside senior alerts for bathroom use, this product can be essential for many.   

Grab bars are the cheapest accessibility device for the bathroom and the easiest to install. They are already standard in commercial bathrooms. They are an essential part of home accessibility. 

Smart Showers

Smart
Smart Shower by Kohler®

Overview

Seniors are at increased risk of being scalded by hot water. As they age, it becomes difficult for their bodies to determine the temperature of the water in showers. Additionally, cognitive changes can interfere with the ability to react to these dangers. Studies show that burn mortality rates are third only to falls and poisoning for older adults. The American Burn Association has reported that each year, 25,000 individuals are hospitalized for burns. Smart showers not only make showering easier for seniors, but they help prevent these dangerous burn injuries. 

Smart showers have preset shower settings that are activated with a single button push. They monitor the water’s temperature, preventing it from getting too hot. They give the user the ability to change the intensity of the water’s spray and the angle of water delivery. For an additional experience, some showers feature music, colored lights, and aromatherapy. Combined with waterproof senior alerts for bathrooms, showers can be very safe for most older adults. 

How Can it Help?

Smart showers allow seniors to take hassle-free showers. The experience is easily customized, and the shower is easily controlled, even with limited dexterity in their hands. These showers increase independence, create an improved experience, and increase safety.

Smart showers are currently seen as a luxury product and are not marketed to seniors. For those with limited hand mobility, this product will allow them to operate the shower without assistance. The target market of those who need smart showers the most is a subsection of the senior care market at large. Smart showers, alongside senior alerts for bathrooms, can significantly improve safety and comfort while in the shower. 

Automatic Toilet

Toilet
Automatic Toilet Numi by Kohler®

Overview

Automatic toilets are fully automated and hands off. Sensors open the lid when approached and close it when the user leaves the room. These toilets feature amenities such as advanced bidet and air dryer functionality, heated seats, foot warmers, and music capability. More customization means an overall more pleasant experience. To make everything simpler, the toilet also remembers your preferences. 

How Can it Help?

Automatic toilets reduce the spread of germs and are good for those with limited mobility. Automatic lid opening and closing keeps unwanted objects out of the toilet and reduces the likelihood of falling in. These toilets help seniors to be less dependent on their caregivers and increase the quality of their bathroom experience. Still, in case something goes wrong, users should still use senior alerts for bathrooms while in the part of the house. 

Automatic toilets are not cheap, and they need to be installed by a professional. Though they can be a blessing to the seniors who need them, they are not essential for every senior.