Shower safety for seniors Shower safety for seniors

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Thread: Shower safety for seniors

  1. #1
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    Default Shower safety for seniors

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    Hello everyone,

    Iím trying to help my grandma be safer in the shower. I want the shower floor to be less slippery. There are aftermarket shower mats, but they often rely upon suction cups and I worry that suction cups could come loose and cause a tripping hazard. Whatís a practical and reliable way to create a grippier shower floor?

    If there is a way to tag or nudge Dr. Sullivan from Greysteel, I am very curious to his opinion on this.

    Thank you,

  2. #2
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    The first thing she needs is grab bars. Then add some texture to the floor itself. Glue-on traction strips are cheap and easy.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the pointers, Rip. I found some adhesive strips by 3M that look good. Grabber bar will be a bit more challenging, because the entire shower unit is plastic, but I will keep searching for mountable options. I just canít trust suction cups in the event of an emergency.

  4. #4
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    Might be time for a bathroom remodel.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BareSteel View Post
    Thanks for the pointers, Rip. I found some adhesive strips by 3M that look good. Grabber bar will be a bit more challenging, because the entire shower unit is plastic, but I will keep searching for mountable options. I just canít trust suction cups in the event of an emergency.
    Is it a shower stall or a plastic tub insert? If it butts up to a wall you can mount into a stud and just seal the escutcheons with silicone bath caulk.

    They do make no-drill bars for mounting to tile or metal but I think they're rated for less weight. And you'd want to double check that the adhesive is compatible with the surface obviously.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt James View Post
    Is it a shower stall or a plastic tub insert? If it butts up to a wall you can mount into a stud and just seal the escutcheons with silicone bath caulk.

    They do make no-drill bars for mounting to tile or metal but I think they're rated for less weight. And you'd want to double check that the adhesive is compatible with the surface obviously.
    At that point, it's not just the adhesive holding the bar to the tile, but the tile to the wall. Same thing for anything you're sticking it to. I'd say definitely go for attaching to studs.

  7. #7
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    Iíll have to double check next time I visit, but I think itís basically a large molded insert that includes the tub, shower walls and a shelf. It extends perhaps a few inches from the wall.

  8. #8
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    She needs a remodeled bathroom. If she falls and hurts herself, you're going to feel bad about this.

  9. #9
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    If you do remodel the bathroom, consider a shower only (no tub) with full door so she doesn't have to step over the tub, or a standing tub. And just ditto to what Mark said, grab bars and grip tape.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    She needs a remodeled bathroom. If she falls and hurts herself, you're going to feel bad about this.
    What he said. I suppose that if itís possible to drill through the plastic of the shower enclosure and directly into two secure studs for each end of the grab bar you may save Grandma a remodel. If not, go for the remodel. Statistically for seniors, the bathroom is the most dangerous room in the house (more than kitchens).

    For more general tips on fall prevention, youíll have to enforce wide open, unobstructed paths throughout her living space, excellent lighting, NO throw rugs, make sure the grandkiddies donít leave toys on the floor, get rid of knee-level coffee tables to trip on, no boxes or magazines on the floor, and no walking with hands in the pockets. Depending on how frail she is and her cognitive status, always try to get her mindful of falling and reaffirm the incredible loss of independence that can happen to her in less than a second due to carelessness that sheíll regret forever. Hope that she doesnít have a small dog or cat that youíll never convince her to get rid of (although for seniors, they often have benefits that can exceed the increased risk of falls).

    Oh, and get her to squat even if itís supervised by you and with only a broomstick. That will help her significantly more than the SS gym she wonít go to. It wonít make her stronger but it will help her proprioception (her position-sense).

    I have a largely geriatric practice. Trust me. On this stuff, I KNOW what Iím talking about through very painful experience with patients and their families.

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