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Bathing Tips for Elderly Osteoporosis Patients

Bathing Tips for Elderly Osteoporosis PatientsOsteoporosis patients are at high risk of fractures due to the weakening of the bones in this disease. Most osteoporosis patients are elderly and the most common means by which fractures arise is with falls. Poor balance and stability with age and chronic disease is one of the main reasons why the elderly are prone to falls and in the backdrop of osteoporosis, the consequences can be severe and the effects lifelong. One of the most common situations that leads to falls in the elderly is with bathing and in the bathroom in general. Therefore a few simple measures can play a significant role in preventing falls and related mishaps.

Hand Rails for Showers and Baths

Hand rails are one of the main aids for a person with poor balance and instability. In a bid to prevent falls, it is advisable that the elderly use baths and showers with hand rails for support while bathing and getting in and out of the bath or shower cubicle. It is usually in these instances when a fall is more likely to happen given the slippery surfaces of the bath tub or tiles as a result of spilled water.

Non-Slip Surfaces

Special non-slip tiles, non-slip coating of bath tubs and non-slip mats for the bathroom should be considered where possible. Since water increases the slippery nature of most of the bathroom surfaces, these simple devices can be hugely beneficial in preventing falls. Even a towel on the floor can assist in soaking up excess water and reducing the slipperiness of these surfaces. Sometimes bathing with open rubber slippers with non-slip soles may be a better option if changing to non-slip tiles is not feasible.

Showers or Bath Tubs

Showers with hand rails and non-slip tiles are preferable over bath tubs. Standing in a bath tub as well as getting into and out of it can be hazardous for a person with poor balance and mobility, even with hand rails. However, it often boils down to personal preference and person does not often change old habits like bathing in a tub compared to a shower. Therefore simple measures like hand rails and non-slip mats should not be seen as a luxury but rather a necessity.

Avoid Bathing When Intoxicated

Alcohol consumption and certain drugs like sleeping tablets can significantly affect balance. This compounds an existing problem with balance and stability. It is therefore advisable that elderly osteoporosis patients avoid bathing when intoxicated, either with alcohol or prescription medication. Rather wait for the effects of these substances to wear off where possible or settle for a sponge bath if necessary.

Ask for Assistance

It is important for the elderly to ask for assistance, particularly those with underlying diseases that can make living without help a perilous undertaking. Although hired help like an elderly sitter is not always an affordable option for every person, there are times where help from other house members is essential or institutionalization has to be considered. It is often in the attempt to prove one’s independence or not disturb others that accidents tend to happen due to taking unnecessary risks. Embarrassment is another factor, especially when undertaking a personal task like bathing. However, the consequences of a fall can be devastating in the long run.


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