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Keeping Bathrooms Safe for Seniors

by Katie Riggs on October 1, 2014

Slips and falls by older adults are the leading cause of hip fractures and head trauma and can increase the risk of early death. Fortunately, falls in the home are largely preventable, especially those that take place in the bathroom. Here are some tips for keeping your senior safe in the home.

Causes of Slips and Falls in the Bathroom

  • Getting in and out of the shower
  • Getting up and down from the toilet
  • Attempting to use the bathroom sink or towel bar for support
  • Using the bathroom at night without proper lighting

How to Prevent Slips and Falls in the Bathroom

Inside the Bath or Shower

  • Improve the lighting in the shower area
  • Install grab bars both inside and outside of the tub or shower to assist with getting in and out of the shower or bath
  • Use a rubber non-skid mat inside the bath or install non-slip adhesive strips on the bathtub floor to avoid falls
  • Use a shower chair inside the bath or shower
  • Install a showering wand to be used with the shower chair
  • Seek in-home caregiver assistance while bathing or showering
  • Consider hiring a home modification company for seniors to install a roll-in shower or walk-in tub. If you are in need of recommendations for a reputable home modification specialist, please contact CICOAfor a list of contractors in your area. CICOA serves seniors in Central Indiana.


  • Install grab bars next to the toilet to assist with getting up and down
  • Use a raised toilet seat. Raised toilet seats can be purchased from your local pharmacy or home improvement store.
  • Seek help with toileting from an in-home caregiver

Additional Recommendations

  •  Remove Trip Hazards: Remove bath mats, cords, or other obstacles that could cause a fall.
  • Medical Alert Device: Use a medical alert device that can detect a fall.
  • Telephone: Install a telephone in the bathroom
  • Caregiver Assistance: Consider hiring a local in-home care service that can provide home care assistance for seniors.
  • Regular Cleaning: Make sure the bathroom is cleaned regularly to eliminate dust and mildew that can make bathroom surfaces slippery.