How To Achieve Bathroom Safety For Seniors
For the elderly the bathroom is one of the most dangerous rooms in the house. Make sure the elderly person in your home has a clear path to the bathroom. That means no throw rugs to trip over, no furniture blocking the way, move the laundry basket and any shoes.
Tip #1 – Make A Clear Path
Remember to leave extra room for walkers or wheelchairs. And just in case the elderly or handicap person may need to use the bathroom in the middle of the night always have nightlight in the hallway and the bathroom.
If you don’t have an extra light in the hallway, a battery powered pushlight is a great option.
Tip #2 – Bathroom Doorways
Another thing to keep in mind is that bathroom doorways are pretty narrow and they can be difficult to maneuver through if you’re using a walker or a cane.
Another concern is the bathroom door’s saddle. A half-inch rise off the floor may seem like nothing to us but for someone using a walking may have trouble lifting their feet this may cause them to trip so they may need to side step.
Tip #3 – Put Down Non-Slip Mats
The first thing you need to think of when it comes to bathroom safety is slipping. Slipping is a big hazzard.
The best thing you can do is make sure there’s a non-slip surface both on the inside and the outside of the tub. Make the rug on the outside of the tub has a rubber non-slip back.
Using the wrong kind of mat can actually contribute to a fall.
Make sure there’s a rubberized mat on the inside of the tub as well. Tub decals work well also. All you have to do with the decals is peel them back and stick them right on.
Just remember when you’re using tub decals that you use plenty of them so there is no are in between to slip.
Tip #4 – Add Grab Bars
Another thing you can do to make the bathroom safer is add grab bars. Theser are also helpful if the elderly or handicapped person is unable to bring their can or walker into the bathroom.
You can mount one right beneath the shower for extra support while they’re showering and one on the wall adjacent to the tub for extra support while they are getting in and out of the tub.
Do not allow anyone to use the towel rack for extra support because it is extremely unsafe. Towel racks are designed to hold towels not people. They are held in with just a little bit of glue and grout and can easily be ripped from the wall.
We highly recommend that no one in your family, elderly or not, use the towel bar for any kind of support or balance. Make sure they only use a real grab bar. They work best when they are professional installed.
If you can’t get one directly into the tile then a U-shaped grab bar is a great option.
If the someone in your family needs additional support then you can always use a shower chair so they can sit down and take a shower.
Keep in mind grab bars aren’t just for the shower or the toilet. You can put them anywhere that you feel you need extra support.
Tip #5 – Toilets For Elderly
For the elderly just getting on and off the toilet can cause a slip and fall. Adding a grab bar next to the toilet makes a huge difference.
A raised toilet seat with handles is a great option. It’s very easy to install. They slide right over the top of the toilet, tighten and your all set.
There’s also the adjustable frame that fits around the toilet.
A safer bathroom can help prevent falls and other accidents that can lead to injuries, poor health, lenghtly hospital stays and loss of independence.