Dolores O’Riordan of the Irish band The Cranberries performs throughout the 23th version of the Cognac Blues Ardour competition in 2016. She drowned in a bath final yr whereas very drunk.

GUILLAUME SOUVANT / AFP/Getty Pictures

I imagine that we will lower the variety of Canadians dying of their bathtubs, however it begins with taking tub security extra critically.

Ontario is an award-winning province for a lot of causes, however there may be one file that they undoubtedly wouldn’t need to earn. That file was for essentially the most water-related deaths within the nation. Though the overwhelming majority of the drownings occur the place you’ll count on them, in a lake or a river, there’s a stunning object that poses a grave danger to seniors and, worse nonetheless, this object is used each day and may be present in a majority of Canadians’ houses — the bath.

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After all, we’re properly conscious of the dangers that bathtubs pose to infants and toddlers, particularly tub chairs. However, the numbers present that seniors face related dangers from this seemingly benign family object. Nineteen per cent of Albertans and 16 per cent of Ontarians who drowned final yr died in a bath. And year-over-year, these numbers are rising.

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The hazards of the bathtub have been well-documented in popular culture over the previous few years, as properly, with the tragic deaths of superstars like Whitney Houston and, most lately, Dolores O’Riordan of the Irish rock band The Cranberries. It ought to be famous there have been extenuating circumstances with each deaths. Houston’s post-mortem revealed she had a slew of narcotics in her system earlier than dying and Riordan’s toxicology report famous that she was greater than 4 instances over the authorized alcohol restrict for driving.

Though it’s affordable to imagine that the majority Canadian seniors wouldn’t be medicated to the diploma that each Houston and O’Riordan have been after they died, the reality is they are often. A report by the Canadian Institute for Well being Info confirmed that one in 4 Canadians aged 65 or older have been prescribed 10 or extra varieties of medication. Scarily, opiates have been one of the crucial widespread drug courses for this age group. In response to the report, this chemical cocktail has elevated the variety of hospitalizations in addition to rising the chance of a life-altering fall.

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Bathtub-related falls are one other hazard in plain sight. Regardless of simply over two per cent of accidents occurring whereas in a bathtub, greater than 9 per cent of bathtub-related accidents happen when attempting to depart the tub. That’s the greatest concern for seniors, particularly for many who are already fighting mobility. Greater than half of all falls in Canada will trigger soft-tissue injury and as much as 1 / 4 of all falls may have a extra extreme consequence. In response to the Seniors and Growing old Report by Well being Canada, a big majority of non-fatal falls will end in everlasting incapacity or impairment, resulting in one-fifth of Canadian seniors being moved to a permanent-care facility.

Swiss researchers led by Thomas Sauter studied the varieties of accidents sustained in a bath. Their findings confirmed that one in 10 falls concerned a traumatic mind damage, with all those that had a bleed on the mind after a bath fall being over age 48.

Canada shares the second-highest bathtub mortality price with the U.S., each of that are considerably decrease than first-place Japan, which noticed 13,634 bathtub drowning deaths between 2009 and 2011, simply over 12,000 of which have been 65 or above — a stark distinction from the lots of of individuals in Canada who died in tubs throughout the identical interval.

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I imagine that we will lower the variety of Canadians dying of their bathtubs, however it begins with taking tub security extra critically. Advocates on the Senior Care Networks advocate that involved relations of seniors set up and often examine non-slip flooring each in and outdoors of the bathtub, in addition to guaranteeing that their aged family members aren’t bathing whereas intoxicated or beneath the affect of opiates. They are saying that each Canadian has a stake in guaranteeing bathtub security, “in order that we may also help Canadian seniors proceed to get pleasure from a top quality of life for a lot of extra years to return.”

Reece Mack is a seniors’ rights advocate and Fort Langley-based public relations coordinator.


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