According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
, one in four seniors over the age of 65 will have at least one fall per year. One culprit for these falls in the hot tub. Today, let’s explore potential hot tub danger for older adults.
What is a Potential Hot Tub Danger for Older Adults?
Right out of the gate, let’s start by saying that this article won’t try to dissuade seniors to avoid hot tubs. Jacuzzis and the like can be quite relaxing, and even therapeutic. After all, who doesn’t love a relaxing dip in the water?
That said, this post will
address specific potential hot tub dangers for older adults. These folks often have specific health needs or even limited mobility. As such, there are some hazards that older tubbers might experience that youngsters might not. Of course, it’s best to be prepared.
Above all, speaking with a medical professional before engaging in any potentially hazardous activity is paramount. If there is any possibility of hot tub danger, consult a doctor about each person’s unique needs before stepping into the water.
Slippery When Wet
According to the CDC
, falls were the leading cause of injury for older Americans in 2016. Slipping and sliding on a wet floor should be the first and most obvious worry when it comes to hot tub danger for older adults.
As we’ve discussed in our article about slippery floors
, the soaked deck or walkway can be rather treacherous. This is true for anyone, but can be especially hazardous for seniors with mobility trouble. Keep in mind that this also applies to getting in and out of the shower or bathtub.
Before stepping into the hot tub, be sure to bring two towels. One to dry your body, and another to put down on the potentially soaked deck. Additionally, consider wearing water shoes to help improve grip and traction on slippery surfaces. Finally, always use the handrail when entering or exiting the water.
This is good advice for everyone, but can be especially helpful for seniors. While we’re on the subject of slipping and sliding near the hot tubs, don’t forget the dangers of slipping on ice or snow. Sure, that’s another story all together, and you can read all about it in our dedicated blog post
. Winter is coming, after all.
High Blood Pressure and Heat
Beyond falls, high blood pressure is another potential hot tub danger for older adults. Very hot and very cold temperatures can affect one’s blood pressure. Any strong change in temperature causes blood vessels to contract and expand.
In a hot tub, that’s a serious possibility. To help avoid this issue, aim to keep the temperature around 100°F. Additionally, don’t spend more than twenty minutes at a time in the hot tub. Taking breaks to cool down will help keep your body temperature regulated. For added safety, never soak alone. Bring a buddy. It’s more fun and you can be each other’s support system in case someone runs into trouble.
Above all, we’re again warning that people with high blood pressure speak with their doctor before using a hot tub. Depending on what medication you are using, the heat from the water could cause adverse reactions.
Dirty Water and Infection
Finally, it is always important to keep your pool and hot tub clean. This means maintaining proper balance of pH and water-treating chemicals. Besides keeping the water crystal clear, a well-maintained pool can help to eliminate bacteria or waterborne illnesses. That means for a person with a compromised immune system, that a quick dip in the hot tub could leave them quite sick. To prevent this, do your due diligence before anyone enters the water.