Slips, trips, and falls are a common source of injury for senior citizens. As mobility decreases, your likelihood of stumbling or tripping increases, making these kinds of accidents much more frequent occurrences. With its many slippery and uneven surfaces, the bathroom is a fairly common location for these types of falls, so it’s important to make your bathroom more accessible and decrease the likelihood of these accidents. Here are just a few of the possible injuries you can incur from such a fall in your bathroom.
Contusions and Lacerations
Even a minor slip and fall is likely to result in cuts and bruises of some kind. Whether you strike your forehead on the edge of the counter or bang your shoulder against the wall as you fall, the accident is bound to leave its mark. While these kinds of injuries aren’t usually serious, they can leave you feeling achy and sore several days after the fall occurs. But these minor injuries are just the beginning of possible harm from a slip-and-fall accident.
As you age, your joints can become “looser” as the ligaments and tendons that surround it weaken. This makes it much easier for your joints to become dislocated. During a fall, most people will instinctively reach out and try to grab something to support themselves. However, if your balance is already off-centered enough, holding that towel bar likely isn’t going to stop you from falling. Instead, your rapid downward motion will yank on your arm, possibly dislocating your elbow or shoulder joint.
Sprained Ankles and Wrists
It’s also possible to sprain joints during a fall. The most common joints that are sprained in these types of injuries are ankles and wrists. You may try to place your feet in a certain way to regain your balance, only to end up twisting an ankle due to your attempt to recenter yourself. Then, as you strike the ground, you’ll likely put your hands out to catch yourself. Striking your palms firmly against a hard surface can result in a wrist sprain.
Broken bones are another common injury with these kinds of falls, especially among the elderly, who often have reduced bone density. Depending on how you fall, you can experience a broken wrist, leg, arm, or hip. For many senior citizens, recovering from a broken bone is very difficult, and they will continue to experience some side effects of the break for the rest of their lives.
Last but certainly not least, head injuries often occur when someone falls in the bathroom. These can range from mild bumps to severe brain injuries that impact the person for the rest of their lives. If you struggle with mobility, upgrade to a walk-in bathtub to make your bathroom more accessible and reduce your risk of incurring these injuries in a fall.