Ways to fight falls around the home

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

The scar on my left elbow reminds me of a fall in a bathtub. The scar on my right reminds me of a fall on my bike. And the special floss I use reminds me of a fall on a tennis court in which I lost my front tooth.

It is no wonder that falling is among my greatest fears — for myself and for my kids. While I will not stop my kids from riding bikes or running around outside, I can take steps to prevent injuries within our home. I have added rugs throughout the house to add grip and to pad falls, and I have placed rounded protectors on sharp edges. In the bathtub, there are several strategies to making it slip-proof — whether it is for the adults or the kids.

Coating

Anti-slip coating comes in many varieties for a range of shower materials. Before applying, clean and rinse the tub. Allow it to dry thoroughly. Then, rough it up by lightly sanding with fine-grit sandpaper. Wipe with a damp cloth and allow it to dry completely. Decide where you would like the coating to stop, and mark those areas off with painter’s tape. Then, follow manufacturer instructions for applying the coating. Often, the coating is clear and can be applied either by spraying it or painting it on with a paint roller.

Tape

You can purchase discs of anti-slip tape or rolls that you can cut to size. Make sure your tape is waterproof and suitable for the shower or bath. Plan ahead and position your tape before you remove the backing and apply it. Clean and smooth the surface first and allow it to dry completely. Read manufacturer instructions before applying and pay attention to any special precautions used when cleaning. Look for products that are mold and mildew-resistant.

Mat

Bathmats have suction cups on the bottom to help them stay in place. Start with a clean tub. Wet it down and then position the mat on the tub. Press the suction cups down to activate. You can either leave the mat in place, or hang it after each use to drip dry. I like to suction the mat to the shower wall when I’m done. Look for mold and mildew-resistant mats that are also machine-washable for easy cleaning.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefi xisinhawaii@gmail.com.