Creating a Safe Bathroom for Elderly: What to Know?

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Deteriorating muscles, poor vision and a host of other diseases that impact our seniors make bathroom a risky area. Apart from those wet bathroom floor making them prone to fall, the tight knobs and tabs can impact their arthritis joints.

According to one report by the National Institute of Aging or NIA, one in every three older adults over 60 experience a fall each year. And the scariest fact they found is that nearly 80% of these accidents take place in the bathroom.

So how to ensure safety to your beloved ones in bathroom?

Luckily, there are some adjustments you can make to create a safe bathroom for your seniors. From adding toilet safety rails to bringing in a shower bench, there are many ideas to reduce the risk inside the bathroom while providing stability and comfort to elderly.

Here we have come up with such things…

Add Toilet Safety Rails:

Simply put, these rails are installed on or around a toilet, thereby providing support to your seniors using bathroom. They are available in various types and styles. However, we can consider two key categories–one that can be attached to your toilet and a free-standing structure being positioned around the toilet.

Remove the Clutter:

A bathroom is likely to accommodate number of items such as soaps, shower gels, shampoos, medicine and toothpaste. The counters are always filled with them but there is high possibility of knocking them to the floor at some point. This will make an older adult to bend over to reach for the object. But it is quite challenging. Seniors deal with mobility and stiffness issues, leading to imbalance while doing this.

Therefore, make sure to keep your bathroom organized and de-cluttered. Above all, remove the products that are unnecessary or never used. Also, get rid of dirty and unused rugs.

Install a Walk-In Tub:

Sure, installing a walk-in tub can cost you a lot. But that cost is not bigger than the safety of your beloved ones. Walk-in tubs ensure safety to the older adults who are prone to falling as they use a bathtub. These tubs are different from conventional bath tubs as they have doors which can be used while getting in or out of the bathtub.

This system reduces the hassles of lifting the legs as they enter a bathtub.

Consider a Shower Bench or Shower Seat:

Balancing is important for safety while taking shower. And it is equally true that elderly is likely to lose this. That’s why we need to bring in a shower bench or seat. With a shower seat, an aged person can sit and rest comfortably and safety as they bathe. These benches come with stability, comfort and ease. Some even have armrests while other come with suction cups and height adjustment features.

Keep Items Within Access:

When  an aged adult in the bathroom, they should be able to access all the items. They don’t have to bend or stretch just to get them. You can keep the things easy for them by providing all products within arm’s reach with a shower caddy. These shower caddies can be installed on the wall. Or you can have a dispenser on the wall of the shower. This way, your beloved ones can easily access toiletries.

Replace Your Mats with Non-Slip Mats:

An abundance of soap and water makes bathroom a slippery area, making a person prone to fall as they enter and exit of a shower or a bathtub. Enter non-slip mat.

Place them at the entrance of bathrooms, right next to the bath tubs and front of toilets.

You can go extra miles by having a slip-resistant tiles.

Pay Attention to Lighting and Color:

Overhead lighting can ensure an efficient illumination for a bathroom. However, it might not work for elderly. This is because they cast shadows; therefore, it doesn’t brighten the certain space. So if you have an older adult at home, make sure to have multiple lights around the bathroom. Also, use a contrast colors to distinguish several areas of the bathroom.

Replace the Faucet or Taps:

Those old faucet handles are challenging for arthritic hands to turn and grip.

Take Note of the Toilet:

You can replace toilets with a taller ADA-approved raised-height models to reduce the risk of fall. Conventional toilets are 15-inch tall, but many companies have introduced toilets that are an inch and half taller to make sitting down and getting backup comfortable.

The Bottom Line:

Bathing can be challenging as you age. Taking showers, using the toilet or brushing the teeth can become risky for any older adults. That’s why bathroom poses many threats to them. Luckily, there are certain adjustments such as adding toilet rails, non-slip mats and certain lights can reduce the risk of fall for them.

What do you think? Let us know by commenting below.

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