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 Bathroom 365

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Successful Bathroom Transfers
By Jennifer Bradley, Staff Writer

(Page 1 of 4)

Statistics show that many preventable accidents occur in bathrooms. Falls are the top culprit in this category. Wet floors and small spaces are only some of the causes for concern in a bathroom setting. Caregivers must recognize these obstacles before assisting someone they love in the restroom. Ignoring them can be a disaster for both caregiver and the one being cared for. 

As an answer to the bathroom-transfer dilemma, many devices and maneuver methods are available to ensure a caregiverís and their loved oneís safety. It is also important for a caregiver to recognize that nothing is more personal than assisting another with intimate cares. Respect and concern for their loved oneís emotional comfort are as important as their physical care.

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At Home Base

Caregivers can establish a large amount of control over bathroom safety while in their own or a loved oneís home. There are two categories a caregiver should consider as preventive safety measures. The first is procedures and the second, products. Many potential problems can be addressed simply by home modification, approach tactics or the use of assistive devices.

Here are some general procedural tips to aid in the completion of a transfer:

  • Do not pull on a personís arms or under their shoulders.
  • Use a gait belt secured around their waist for assistance.
  • Explain each step of the transfer, then give physical assistance and verbal cues during the movement.
  • Allow a loved one time to comprehend whatís expected and to follow through on their own time.

Bathroom Specifics

Whether the toilet or tub, there are guidelines caregivers can follow for each care performed in the bathroom. Proper transfer techniques can prevent more serious issues down the road, for all parties involved. Many of those discussed are targeted toward the senior population. However, the techniques could be practiced on any age group.

On a toilet, a raised seat or toilet safety frame is recommended to complete the transfer as safely as possible. First, make sure the person is in position, so both of the backs of their legs touch the toilet. Have their arms reach back to grasp a side grab bar, toilet or vanity for support. A caregiver should next assist them to a seated position. A note on toilet seats: If the personís feet do not touch the floor when seated on the toilet, it is too high, and will put them at a higher risk for falls due to instability.


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