Making Your Bathroom Safe for Seniors
The bathroom can be an especially difficult place for seniors to navigate. Between small spaces, hard surfaces, slip hazards, and potentially sharp edges, it can be a dangerous place for those with limited mobility. All of these factors work together to create a big risk for potential falls and accidents.
So how do you reduce this risk, help older adults handle their everyday needs, and overall help them retain as much independence as possible? Fortunately, there are ways for you to improve your bathroom’s safety for elders.
An increase in bathroom safety will mean less stress on your end, so here are a few simple tips to maximize your senior’s bathroom experience:
Have Grab Bars Installed
It is common to see older people utilize a towel bar to hold onto when they climb in or out of their bath tub or shower. These are great for towel holding, but they certainly aren’t built to support the weight of an adult. Installing purpose-made grab bars in convenient locations is a reliable alternative to supporting balance when exiting and entering the bath space.
Grab bars are good for elders who have adequate upper body strength and are able to grab onto these bars while standing and moving. You should install one that offers slip resistance, is a different color than the wall for easy visibility, and with proper connection to the wall (e.g. with bolts, never something like suction cups).
Invest in a Walk-in Tub
Walk-in tubs allow for the easiest entrances and exits for seniors, and they come equipped with proper hand rails and other safety features, such as shower seats and convenient wheelchair transfer. Check out our collection of walk-in bathtubs at Jameson Medical.
Use a Shower Chair
Shower chairs are perfect for providing stability for those who struggle with their balance, and it is also a good place to rest for seniors who have trouble standing for extended periods of time. The best shower chairs have sliding protection by incorporating rubber tips on the legs. The user can even stay seated while bathing if it is used in conjunction with a handheld shower head.
Purchase Non-Slip Mats
One of the most common times for a slip or fall to occur is when a person is getting in or out of the shower or tub. Having a non-slip decal or mat on the floor of the actual tub or shower as well as on the floor itself to keep wet tiles from being less of an issue will significantly support a person’s stability. Towels are not a good solution to step on because they can easily slide out from under your feet.
Consider a Raised Toilet
As people get older, lowering down to a low toilet seat and then rising back up to standing can become increasingly difficult. A raised toilet seat reduces the distance that needs to be covered, requiring less balance and strength and decreases the risk of a fall.
Jameson Medical stocks a wide range of bathroom safety aids. Contact us today to learn about the best equipment for you and your home.