Falls are the Leading Cause of Injuries & Accidental Death Among the Elderly

an elderly woman exiting or entering a bath tu...
an elderly woman exiting or entering a bath tub while grasping the back support of the in-tub seat as she was simultaneously using a walking cane for added stability (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Kerry Knight

Falling is the second leading cause of accidental death, worldwide,  but it is the number one cause of death and injury among our senior population. With the elderly, even falling from a standing position to the ground may cause serious injury.

Chances of Falling are High

New findings, just out, suggest that the very fear of falling increases the probability of
future falls among seniors.  Most medical and gerontology professionals now believe that a constant fear of falling can damage one's peace of mind just as much as falling itself.

With decreased mobility and the likelihood of using multiple prescription medications, it's no wonder that seniors live in fear of falling.

One of the common areas in the home that is a likely spot for falls is the bathroom.   There are several reasons why:
Event Medical Sevices R240YMD . Wembley . 29th...
Event Medical Sevices R240YMD . Wembley . 29th-May-2010 (Photo credit: AndrewHA's)
  • Many tile floors are slippery, especially if wet
  • Most baths are small and crowded with furnishings
  • Getting up and down on the toilet can be a challenge
  • Entering the bathtub by stepping over the rim (many time a 12 inch step)
  • Falls inside the tub due to slippery floors , walls and shower curtains.
  • Possibility of losing balance because of standing.

What makes matters worse is that if there is a fall, there is the danger of a more serious injury with the hard, rigid fixtures such as the sink and tub, not to mention the hard floor, should it be ceramic tile.

The elderly also fear that once they fall they may not be able to get up and call for help, especially if the fall renders them unconscious.

One Solution is a Walk In Tub

Fortunately, there are some solutions.  One is the Walk In Tub. Walk In Tubs are designed  to help prevent falling in the bathtub.  It offers an easy access door, a low threshold of entry, and a built in seat.  Once inside you can close the door and lock it with a sealing mechanism that makes it water tight.  The tub is then filled with warm water to your comfort level.  The tub also comes with an interior grab bar to help in getting up and down. The hand held shower sprayer is right at your finger tips for washing your hair or simply rinsing off. 

You can also add hydrotherapy and whirlpool jets to the tub as an option for water therapy.  An inline heater with the whirlpool keeps the water warm, so it doesn't cool as quickly.

The tub empties quickly and easily and you exit at the door as you entered. 
No more fear of falling.  Just a nice, relaxing bath.
 Falling will always be a problem for the elderly, but at least some things are being done to create a safer environment in the bath.

In this article, I have discussed the risks and probability of being injured or worse from a fall as an elder. Falls account for a large number of injuries and death in the elder population. One way Baby Boomers are  reducing the chances of  falls is by installing and using Walk In bathtubs. Walk in tubs provide many benefits including increased safety, convenience, hydrotherapy and especially the feeling of restored dignity and peace of mind. If you found this article to be useful please pass it on to your friends. If you have a comment leave it in the box below. It has been my pleasure shareing this information with you. Thanks again for sharing this journey together. Until next time keep smiling.

Alan & Kerry Knight are the owners of Tub King, Inc and Senior Bathtub.com in Jacksonville Florida. Together they have many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. Their companies not only provide superior products they are also award winners, winning the best of Jacksonville Chamber Award 3 years running. If you would like to contact them call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231 or email them at alan@tubking.com. 

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