How to Make a Safer Bathroom for Seniors
Most of the injuries among the senior population happen right there – in the bathroom. Carrying the “title” of the riskiest room in the house, you would surely like to modify your bathroom with a couple of safety features. Luckily, there is a myriad of changes you can make in your bathroom to make it safer for your aging parent or yourself.
The elderly diagnosed with arthritis or the ones having knee, hip, or back issues have difficulties with using regularly installed toilets. Fourteen to 16-inch toilets make it hard to sit on and get back up, which is why you should raise its height.
You have a couple of solutions here:
- Install toilet safety rails on each side of the toilet seat. Safety rails provide additional support, but you have to make sure your aging parent can hold the rails while sitting down or getting up.
- A raised toilet seat attached to the toilet bowl imposes as a solution for the elderly with weak muscles.
- Probably the best option for an aging person using a toilet is an ADA compliant toilet. Their height range between 17 and 19 inches, making it very suitable for sitting on and getting back up.
Bathroom slips as dangerous as hell. Combined steam and water on regular bathroom tiles equal a fall and serious injury. A simple and affordable fix for slippery floors are non-skid bath rugs.
Yet, if you want full peace of mind, replacing tiles would impose as the most efficient solution. Wall-to-wall carpeting, rubbery floors, and slip-resistant tiles are the top-notch options to prevent slipping.
If it better fits your budget you can get slip-resistant mats to help make any type of flooring safer.
Taking a bath or a shower is a risky venture for an aging person. When there are no grab bars, it is easy as one-two-three to slip and fall into the bathtub or onto the tiles. Depending on whether you or your aging parents are using bathtub or shower, here are a few quick fixes:
- A rubber suction-grip mat is an ideal option if your parent is still vital, but you want to prevent any accidents in the bathroom. The adhesive nonskid tape is an alternative to a rubber mat, making your bathroom slip-free.
- If you have a shower bathroom blinds and curtains, things can get very risky for a senior who loses their balance easy. Installing a bolt-mounted curtain road will save the day here, as you can grab the shower curtain and prevent falls.
- Struggling with balance, having mobility issues, or suffering from reduced coordination makes it extremely hard to use regular bathtub or shower, even with add-ons we suggested above. The best option for a senior dealing with a more serious condition is a walk-in tub. Walk-in tubs are multiple-beneficiary for the elderly, as they have a much lower threshold, built-in seat, slip-resistant bottom, handrails. One of the best walk-in tubs comes with additional safety and convenience features, such as water jets and bubble air jets.
Never underestimate the importance of good lighting in your bathroom. Elderly with vision impairments or falling eyesight are more prone to slipping in the bathroom, especially when the room is dark.
A plug-in nightlight turns on automatically when someone enters the bathroom, while the highest wattage bulbs can be as good, a bit cheaper alternative. These are great for helping to provide light without making it too bright to wake everyone up when they enter.
If you or one of your parents are using a walker or a wheelchair, you should think of a wider bathroom entrance. An additional two inches would make it so much easier to walk in the bathroom. The best way to widen the door is to install offset hinges.
You can’t keep your eyes on your parents all the time. One of the best safety precaution products on the market is a medical SOS emergency alert device one should wear in case they need help. You can buy your parents a waterproof phone they can use while in the bathroom and call you in case they need your help.
Cluttered floors, the absence of handrails and support bars, slippery surfaces – there are so many hazards for an aging person while they are in the bathroom. Thankfully, thanks to the adjustments we suggested, you can protect yourself or the ones you love from falls, injuries, or deathly bathroom outcomes.Read more on Loaids.com