Fall risk is a serious business. Recent statistics indicate that an estimated one out of every three adults above the age of 65 will experience a fall each year. This rate will increase drastically with advancing age.
Falls are responsible for serious injuries and even death. While working as a Physical Therapist, I often witnessed the devastating effects of falls on seniors. The elderly are not only affected by the immediate physical effects of a fall, but also by the psychological sequelae which follow, severely reducing their independence and often leading to placement in a skilled nursing facility or assisted living.
Fear of falling often causes seniors to reduce their levels of activity. This apprehension leads to a further reduction in strength, balance, and overall health, as well as increased anxiety and depression. This combination of factors all leads to increased risk for falls, completing a vicious cycle. Implementation of grab bars is one of the most effective strategies of reducing fall risk within the bathroom environment.