Considering safety measures in the bathroom can make a huge difference in seniors’ comfort, safety, and wellbeing at home.
Falls are a major risk for seniors as they continue to grow older, and the bathroom can be an especially dangerous area if the right measures aren’t taken to make things safer. With slippery surfaces and small spaces, a fall in a bathroom can result in serious injuries, but with a little planning and the implementation of certain tools and arrangements, seniors and their caregivers can work to improve safety and reduce fall risk for seniors in their home bathrooms.
Install Safety Features
There are a whole host of tools and systems designed specifically to help seniors feel safer and more secure in their homes. The following are some examples of items that can help make the bathroom a more navigable and safe place for seniors:
- Grab Bars: For seniors who are dealing with balance or mobility issues and need a little something to help them feel more comfortable, grab bars can make a big difference for seniors as they lower or lift themselves from the bath or the toilet. These bars can be installed anywhere on the wall that makes sense, and are good for seniors who still can use their upper body strength.
- Non-Slip Mats: Adding Non-Slip Mats to the bathroom makes the space much easier for seniors to navigate without worrying about lack of traction that might cause them to slip and fall. These mats can be placed inside the bath or shower, and on the tile floor of the bathroom to prevent falls when entering or exiting the bath with wet feet.
- Shower Seats: Having the ability to sit while in the shower can be great for seniors who find it challenging to stay standing for extended periods of time. With a Shower Seat, seniors can sit down while they clean themselves or can just sit to take a rest for a few moments when they need it. There are various types of shower seats, so there is bound to be one that suits the type of shower and the individual seniors’ needs.
- Raised Toilet Seats: Having a raised toilet seat can make it easier for seniors, as they don’t have to lower themselves down quiet as far to sit. These seats, in combination with grab bars, can make it infinitely easier for seniors to use the washroom independently with greater ease.
- Walk-In Tubs: The big step required to get in or out of the bath can be tough for seniors, and it can create a risk of falling. Having a Walk-In Tub provides seniors with the opportunity to get in and out on their own without risking tripping or falling over the edge of the bath.
On top of installing special equipment into the space to make the bathroom feel safer for seniors, there are some general adjustments that can improve the way the bathroom is set up in general. Firstly, making sure that everything is within easy reach can make a huge difference. If seniors have to extend themselves to reach for things, they are more likely to slip and fall, so having everything organized in an accessible and consistent way can alleviate that problem. Another important change has to do with the lighting and visibility of the space. Making sure that everything is well-lit and easy to see makes the environment much safer, so bathrooms should have proper light fixtures and things like nightlights should be installed for during the night or when it is a dark day. Seniors who don’t already have some form of medical alert system in their home might find it helpful to have a telephone in their bathroom in case they hurt themselves or encounter a problem for which they need assistance.
Making the bathroom a safer place is easy with all the resources and tools available these days. Having a discussion about which problems are most relevant and require attention can help seniors and their caregivers to work together to set up the bathroom in the best and safest way possible going forward.
Contact us today for a Free Home Care Assessment by a Nurse to discuss how our services in Edmonton can help you or someone you love set-up their home in a safe and comfortable way.