As we age, so do our bodies, meaning our balance and mobility decrease and it’s easier to fall. Studies have shown that making your bathroom more senior accessible is important since there is a greater chance for falls. Considering a good portion of daily life is spent in the bathroom it should be in any senior’s best interest to make it a safe place to bathe, wash up and take care of themselves.
To make sure your bathroom is senior-friendly try out our 5 best tips to ensure they are safe.
Install Grab Bars
One of the easiest ways to alter your bathroom for seniors is by installing grab bars in the shower, bathtub, and near the toilet in order to provide stability. Since showering should be a relaxing and soothing experience for anyone, implementing something to hold on to can help make for a safe experience.
Depending on which grab bar you choose, you can either install it yourself or hire someone to put it in for you. The impact of these grab bars doesn’t go unnoticed and should be a necessity to any senior (or caregiver) looking for a safer time in the bathroom.
Security poles are an additional route to go as well and require no installation. These transfer poles are an innovative way of improving safety for seniors while eliminating the stress that comes with it.
Raised Toilet Seat
For seniors with hip problems, trouble sitting or having a tough time getting up and off the toilet, you might want to look into installing a raised toilet seat in order to make it easier to go to the bathroom. Considering many seniors can even fall when trying to get on the toilet seat, giving the seat an extra boost can help prevent a painful fall.
Depending on the person, figure out how much of a boost is required and seek a seat that can properly help with that. The average height to raise the seat is about 3 inches, but every person is different so make sure you’re adjusting the seat adequately.
Buy New Rugs
Depending on the surface of your bathroom, you may want to purchase new bath rugs in order to prevent falls and help out caregivers that are aiding in the bathing process. By purchasing non-slip rugs in your bathroom you’re not only preventing seniors from falling as they walk around, but can save the knees of the caregiver.
Another essential product should be bath mats that stick to the floor of the shower to ensure grip while standing. Plus, adding a non-slip mat right outside the shower can also help prevent falls. Since the bathroom and shower floors are constantly getting wet, it’s easier to slip and slide around. Don’t risk the chance of a dangerous fall and invest in the right resources.
Keep Everything Organized
Bathroom clutter is overwhelming for anyone, but especially for seniors, having items scattered around your bathroom can be distressing and even hazardous. Investing in cabinet space and other organizational tools is a great way to jump-start your cleaning efforts.
A great tip to organizing the items in your bathroom is figuring out what items you use daily and what items are a waste of space. While many bathrooms are equipped with shelves, filling these to the max can make it easy for seniors to knock over items and spill on the ground.
Start with items you use every day like a toothbrush, toothpaste, and medication. These items should be in the most convenient spot for easy, everyday access. Whether that be neatly on the sink or in the top drawer, you want to make these items easily accessible. As for other key items such as shaving products, shower gels, and lotions, try condensing them together to save room. Invest in a shaving kit to keep these products in one place so you know where each thing is. Keeping them out of plain sight and tucked away will certainly do the job as well, and will avoid you from having unnecessary things in your way.
Make a Bathtub Change
Many seniors suffer from falls in the shower and bathtub that can be avoided with the installation of walk-in bathtubs and showers. While these are on the pricier end of bathroom safety, they are the most reliable option in terms of providing a safe bath. By the inclusion of the door into the tub, it cuts out the lifting of legs necessary and can eliminate falls altogether.
If this isn’t in your interest or you have a walk-in shower, experiment with shower chairs and handheld shower heads that can make bathing for seniors that much easier.