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Each year, one out of every three adults aged 65 and over is involved in a falling accident. Even a very minor fall can result in serious injuries. Falls are the leading cause of accidental death among seniors, making fall prevention important for older individuals and their caregivers. One of the simplest ways that you can enhance your safety in the bathroom is to add a bath mat to the tub, and Walgreens has many options available.
Bathtubs are one of the places where falls occur most commonly in the home. Climbing in and out of the tub can be difficult for many people who have limited mobility. Stepping over the sides of the tub requires strength and balance that older, injured or disabled people may lack. Conditions like arthritis can also make it painful to move. Transferring from standing to sitting down in the tub may also prove difficult. When the floor of a tub is wet, the task of entering and exiting the tub becomes even more risky, as the floor of the tub may be slippery.
While there are many ways to address the risk of falls while exiting and entering the tub, bath mats are among the simplest and least expensive. A mat does not require modifications to the bathtub or to the tub surround, so it can be removed from its packaging and used immediately. Homeowners will not have to pay to have a contractor or a handyman perform work in the bathroom to use a mat, and mats are quite affordable. Although they are inexpensive and easy to use, bath mats can greatly reduce the likelihood of falls, as they do not become slippery when wet and provide a stable place to stand when getting into or out of the tub.
There are many types of bath mats available, but you can easily choose the right mat for yourself or for a loved one if you keep some basic points in mind. First, the bath mat must fit into the tub, covering a large portion of the floor. Mats come in different sizes and shapes, so look for one that will provide maximum coverage without being too large. Some bath mats are small in size and designed for use on the edge of the tub, on the floor outside of the tub or inside of shower stalls. These may help to enhance bathroom safety, depending on its design. In addition to thinking about the size, you'll want to consider whether or not any special features would be of benefit to you or your loved one. Mats may have temperature indicators that allow caregivers to tell just how hot the water is to avoid scalding and burn accidents. You can also find bath mats that have special massage surfaces that stimulate circulation and enhance comfort while in the tub.
Depending on how mobile you or your loved one is, additional bathroom safety measures may be needed to reduce the risk of falls. Talk to a medical professional about whether items like grab bars or a bath lift would be ideal for you or the person for whom you care.
This summary is intended for general informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should read product labels. In addition, if you are taking medications, herbs, or other supplements you should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before taking any over-the-counter medication as they may interact with other medications, herbs, and nutritional products. If you have a medical condition, including if you are pregnant or nursing, you should speak to your physician before taking these products. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.