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Steady as She Goes: 4 Tips for Bath Safety Awareness Month

With the new year (and a new decade) upon us, many people are choosing a word of the year, something to aspire to with the fresh start of a new calendar. Joy. Family. Freedom. Balance. One low-key word on our minds at Brandermill Woods this year is steady.

In our mission to redefine retirement, we strive to provide a vibrant, active—fun!—lifestyle for our residents, but to do that we work hard to maintain a steady operation: a stable financial foundation, a tenured team of professionals, and a comfortable environment that feels like home.

When we reflect on the last 10 years, back to the throes of the Great Recession, the world has been quite un-steady at times, so we are looking forward to smooth sailing in a new decade. Steadiness is a good frame of mind to be in this month, because January happens to be “Bath Safety Awareness Month.”

If there’s anywhere you want to maintain stability, it’s in the bathroom. While anyone can slip in the shower, seniors are at high risk because injuries from a fall can quickly become life-threatening. In the spirit of a steady 2020, here are four tips for bath safety awareness month:

1. Resist the slip.

While many bathtubs and showers are designed with some measure of slip-resistance, it never hurts to install slip-resistant strips or mats on the floor of your tub. Additionally, seniors may appreciate having a handrail installed for additional support. Finally, a good bathmat or even a towel in front of the tub will help sop up any water sprays to keep the floor safely dry.

2. Light up your life.

Walking into a dark bathroom in the middle of the night is an accident waiting to happen. Not only could you slip on any errant water left over from your last shower, but you might also bump into the sink or a towel rack—easy to do if you’re still in the fog of your slumber. If you’re worried about waking up your partner by turning on a light, consider installing a night light to stay safe.

3. Cover sharp edges.

You might think that with all of our technological convenience, the bathtub manufacturers would have come up with a safer switch for turning on the water. As it stands, most of our showers have pointy metal edges jutting out of the tub—perfect for a concussion if you slip in the bath. Consider buying a rubber cover for these and other obstructions that pose a hazard.

4. Find the right temperature.

Faucet design aside, we have come a long way from the old hot-and-cold knobs of yesteryear that made it difficult to get just the right temperature. A single lever moving from cold to hot is convenient, but be careful not to turn it all the way hot. You don’t want a scalding 120-degree stream of water blistering your skin. Not only that, there is some evidence that hot baths and saunas increase the risk of a heart attack, so seniors should take precautions. Pleasantly warm is great, but hot is a bit risky.