According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) almost 22 million people a year are injured in bathrooms. The bathroom is an especially dangerous area for seniors and the disabled because of the moisture, slick surfaces, and generally small size of the room. If you want to safely age in your own home there are things you can do to cut down on the safety hazards in the bathroom.
In the tub or shower, make sure there is a suction-cup bath mat or non-slip strips. Adding a shower seat will make it easier for anyone who can’t stand for any length of time to take a shower comfortably. In addition, a hand held sprayer will make it easier for your senior to take a shower sitting down. Grab bars to hold on to while getting in or out of the shower will help with stability – don’t count on nearby towel bars which can’t support any weight. Shower doors can be replaced with curtains to provide easy access to the bathtub. Make sure the water temperature is not set over 120 degrees and that the hot and cold water handles on the faucets are clearly marked and easy to use.
Many seniors have difficulty getting up or down from a seated position. This includes while using the toilet. If the toilet can’t be replaced with an elevated one, you can purchase a portable seat or riser. Grab bars in the toilet area will give your senior something to hold on to while steadying themselves. Make sure the toilet paper dispenser can be easily reached and is in a convenient location.
Provide a bench for the vanity area and it may be helpful to remove the door from the bathroom vanity to allow space for your senior’s knees. Make sure items used frequently are conveniently located and easy to reach without requiring a lot of bending or stretching. Remove anything breakable or made of glass and be sure to install a night light.
The bathroom can be one of the most dangerous rooms in the home. Just making these few simple adjustments can help prevent accidents and make aging in place a much more reachable goal. What changes have you made to increase bathroom safety? Share below and visit us at http://www.trilliumhomecare.com