January is Bath Safety Month. According to the CDC, slips and falls due to wet and slick surfaces account for the majority of accidents in the bathroom. In 2008, it was reported that nearly a quarter of a million people checked into emergency rooms following a bath-related incident or injury. It’s important to observe proper shower and bathtub accident prevention, especially if arthritis is a concern.
See more on how to protect yourself at home with our tips on bath and shower safety.
For the over 58 million adult Americans who suffer some type of arthritis, something as easy as taking a shower may have its challenges. Bath mats, no-slip stickers, and hand rails can help with mobility and fall prevention as you wash yourself. Joint aches and stiffness, too, may be eased with specific products designed for an optimal bath experience:
Long-Handled Brushes: Hand-held loofahs and washrags may ensure a thorough cleaning, but you want to be careful not to strain yourself with hard to reach places. Replace these items with a long-handled brush with an ergonomic grip. This keeps you upright in the shower yet still able to scrub your back and behind your legs.
Soap and Shampoo Dispensers: Shampoo and shower gel bottles aren’t always grippy and can slip out of your hands. Same with soap bars. If the arthritis is in your hands and holding items becomes more difficult when wet, consider installing dispensers in your shower stall and near your tub.
Shower Chair: Standing for a length of time can put stress on your knees and ankles. If your arthritis is located below your body, a shower chair can relieve your bath time. Coupled with a hand-held shower head, you’ll have an easy way to stay clean.
Epsom Salts: Epsom salts contain magnesium, which is known to reduce swelling and discomfort in the joints. People tend to shower more often because it is expedient, but warm water is helpful in relieving aches. Consider a soak a few times a week with Epsom salts, before bed. You may find you have a relaxing night able to manage your pain.