As we age, our homes can become more challenging to navigate, especially the bathroom. The bathroom is one of the most dangerous rooms in the house for seniors, with wet and slippery surfaces, hard surfaces, and difficult-to-reach fixtures. Falls in the bathroom can lead to serious injuries, and even hospitalization. In this blog, we’ll discuss some effective tips to improve bathroom safety for seniors.
- Install grab bars – Grab bars are a simple yet effective way to improve bathroom safety for seniors. They provide support and stability, making it easier to get in and out of the tub or shower, and to use the toilet. Grab bars should be securely anchored to the wall, and placed at a height that’s comfortable for the senior to reach.
- Use non-slip mats and rugs – Slippery surfaces are a major hazard in the bathroom. Using non-slip mats and rugs can help prevent falls by providing a stable, non-slip surface to stand on. Mats and rugs should be placed near the shower or bathtub, as well as in front of the toilet and sink.
- Improve lighting – Good lighting is essential for safe bathroom use, especially for seniors with vision impairments. The bathroom should be well-lit, with fixtures that provide bright, even lighting. Installing motion-activated lights can also help prevent falls by providing instant illumination when the senior enters the bathroom.
- Raise toilet height – Many seniors have difficulty sitting down and standing up from the toilet. Raising the toilet height can make this task easier, and reduce the risk of falls. This can be achieved by installing a raised toilet seat, or by replacing the entire toilet with a taller model.
- Install a walk-in shower or tub – Getting in and out of a traditional bathtub can be a challenge for seniors. Installing a walk-in shower or tub can make bathing safer and easier. These types of fixtures have a low threshold, making it easier to step in and out, and often come equipped with built-in seating and grab bars.
- Use handheld showerheads – Handheld showerheads can make bathing easier for seniors with mobility issues. They allow the user to direct the water exactly where they need it, and can be used while sitting down. Handheld showerheads should be installed at a height that’s comfortable for the senior to reach, and should have a long enough hose to reach all areas of the shower or tub.
- Consider a raised sink – Sinks that are too low can be difficult for seniors to use, especially if they have mobility issues. Installing a raised sink can make it easier to use the faucet, and reduce the risk of falls. Raised sinks can be installed on a countertop or mounted on the wall at a comfortable height.
- Remove clutter – Clutter can make it difficult to navigate the bathroom safely. It’s important to keep the bathroom tidy and organized, with items stored in their proper place. Items that are used frequently should be kept within easy reach, and any tripping hazards, such as electrical cords or loose rugs, should be removed.
- Use contrasting colorsUsing contrasting colors can help seniors with vision impairments distinguish between different surfaces and fixtures in the bathroom. For example, a brightly colored toilet seat can stand out against a neutral-colored bathroom floor. Contrast can also be used to highlight grab bars and other safety features.
- Consult with a professional – If you’re not sure how to make your bathroom safer for a senior, consider consulting with a professional. A certified aging-in-place specialist or occupational therapist can assess your bathroom and make recommendations for modifications that will improve safety and accessibility.
In addition to these tips, here are some other things to keep in mind when improving bathroom safety for seniors:
Make sure the bathroom is easily accessible from the senior’s bedroom.
Note the above listicle when curating or maintaining your bathrooms. This is one of the preventive measures to safeguard elders or, rather, anyone using the restroom. Also, explore the sanitaryware products that Texaro sanitaryware offers when designing your bathrooms.