The proposed work addresses current evidence gaps regarding the effectiveness of bathroom assistive devices for fall prevention, in both clinical and non-clinical populations. The goals of this research are two-fold: (1) To gather biomechanical and practice-based evidence to develop clinical best practice recommendations for bathing aids that can prevent falls during bathing transfers and (2) To inform code committees on the efficacy of bathroom grab bars to support a safe bathing transfer/task. Comprehensive laboratory analysis of adaptations that may impact fall risk during bathing tasks will be conducted. Biomechanical data will be used to understand how the presence, placement and characteristics of each assistive device influence the ability to avoid and recover from a balance loss. We will include older adults with and without mobility impairments. Following completion of the laboratory evaluation, we will work with our clinical and injury-prevention partners to develop and disseminate educational materials for selecting and installing fall prevention assistive devices to support safe bathing transfers.
Sandra McKay, PhD
Director of Research
VHA Home HealthCare firstname.lastname@example.org