Bathroom hazards among older adults in western India: A cross-sectional study

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Background. Bathroom accidents are a common cause of injury in older adults. This study aimed to identify the types and prevalence of bathroom hazards in the urban Indian elderly. Methods. 110 female and 88 male community-dwelling older adults in Ahmedabad aged ≥60 years living in a house with at least one bathroom were included. Hazards in their bathrooms were identified using the 18-item Bathroom Hazard Checklist. Results. Of the 198 bathrooms, 85 (42%) had 7 to 10 hazards, and 113 (58%) had 11 to 15 hazards. Frequent architectural hazards included absence of bidirectional doors (100%), inadequate door width (100%), slippery floor (91.9%), inappropriate bathroom size (80.3%), and high door threshold (53.5%). Frequent non-architectural hazards included absence of non-skid mat at entrance (99.5%), absence of grab bars (97%), absence of exhaust fan (96.6%), inadequate bathroom illumination (94.4%), inadequate illumination of bathroom pathway (91.4%), unavailable/unsafe hot water use (89.9%), unsafe seating surface (55.6%), absence of light switch at entrance (53%), and cluttered pathway (39.4%). Conclusions. The prevalence of bathroom hazards in the urban Indian elderly was high. Modification of non-architectural hazards is important to reduce injury risk. Guidelines for age-friendly bathroom design and construction are recommended. Improving awareness of older adults and caregivers is also important to safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-91
Number of pages9
JournalAsian Journal of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01-12-2015


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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