Early in the morning Maria crawled out of bed and was set to get ready for the day. At 78, she had been feeling her age lately. It had become more difficult just to get up and down the stairs and out of bed. She wished things were different, but they weren’t. She was grateful that her youngest son, a handy individual, had installed grab bars.
She walked into the bathroom to take a shower with no reservations.
The grab bars he had installed a few weeks ago seemed to be handy, but she hadn’t really needed to use them yet. She would grab onto the bar, but she never slipped or lost her balance. This morning, though, things were different.
For some reason, as she was stepping into the tub, her leg did not feel normal. She put weight down, as she usually did, but her knees buckled. She was holding onto the grab bar, but as she began to fall, her weight transferred from her legs to her arms and that grab bar. It had not been installed properly and instead of supporting her weight, it ripped free of the wall.
Perhaps if there had not been anything to hold onto, Maria would have simply collapsed onto her back side, sliding down the tub, and maybe suffered a few bruises and bumps. But, because she had transferred her weight, everything changed. She toppled toward the wall, her feet slid out from underneath her, her head hit the corner of the tub, and her side caught the edge.
When she finally came to she would eventually learn about a couple of broken ribs, broken arm, stitches that were necessary to close up the wound in her head, and a few other injuries.
Properly installed grab bars are essential.
When grab bars are going to be used, they absolutely must be installed properly. If they are not anchored into the wall studs, they will be nothing more than a glorified, more expensive towel bar. Seniors deserve to have safety as their top concern and when family and friends want to help, when they have their best interest at heart, that’s all well and good, but it won’t do anything if these grab bars are not installed properly.
For those who may not have family or friends in the area to help, an experienced home care agency might be able to provide recommendations and physical support for those who have diminished strength and balance related challenges. Grab bars are a great asset, but ultimately they pale in comparison to the value a live, in person home care aide can offer.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care to improve senior home safety in Havana, FL, please call the caring staff at Hopewell In-Home Senior Care today at 850-386-5552. Providing Senior Care Services in North Florida.
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