I have been helping the elderly for the last fifteen years. This has involved both volunteering and working at aged care facilities. My roles have varied over the years. Sometimes it has been my role to help with the food deliveries to each room, other times I have been in charge of recreational activities, and on many occasions, I have been assigned the task of assessing what’s not working with the facilities so we can make improvements. Over the last six months, I have been working with one aged care facility in particular and have noticed how much our elderly residents are struggling to get in and out of the bath. We have had at least one fall, or near fall, reported each week. Some of these residents aren’t even that physically weak, so really, their falls could have been prevented.
I’ve been doing some research on bathtub solutions for elderly people, and have since come to discover that it is possible to get doors cut into the walls of bathtubs. I think this is such a clever innovation because not only does it provide more safety for the residents, but it also gives them a lot more independence. As I mentioned, not all these residents have proper physical ailments. A lot of them are just older and a tad physically slower than they once were. Sadly, many of them don’t feel comfortable that they can get in and out of the bath comfortably so they often end up needing to call staff for assistance, or needing to wait for a member of staff to be available.
I think there are a lot of benefits of bathtub modifications. Sydney has many aged care homes and sometimes some homes could do with more help. When members of staff or volunteers need to be taken away from their given tasks to help residents get in and out of baths, it can cause a deficit in other areas that might need assistance. Plus, it’s sad noticing how many residents feel guilty about something that’s not their fault.