Do you live with a senior family member? Do you have senior family members coming for a visit? Are you worried about how accessible and safe your bathroom is?
As humans, we are all prone to accidents. Tripping, slipping, and stumbling, we have all been there and done that before. But, as we get older, we slowly become even more prone to accidents and getting hurt. So, the question remains, is there anything we can do to ensure our beloved elders are safe while using the restroom? Here are 6 Ways to Improve Bathroom Safety for Seniors (whether you are living with them or not).
Bathroom Safety Tips
Keep The Bathroom Clutter Free
Do you want to know the most important (and easiest) thing you can do to help seniors avoid falls in the bathroom? With most bathrooms being small and cramped, you must keep the space clutter-free.
When there is clutter on the floor and counters, it makes navigating the space difficult – and it makes a bathroom fall more likely. So, before you have a senior over, check your bathroom. Make sure no shoes, clothes, or towels are bunched up on the floor (creating a tripping hazard). Clear off counters (storing unused items and throwing away trash) to ensure there is something to grab and hold on to if necessary.
Make Sure Necessities Are Easily Accessible
It is a common courtesy to ensure your bathroom is clean and organized when you have guests over. Clearing out clutter and putting away unused items is essential to cleaning. But when you have seniors over, accessibility is key to avoiding unwanted bathroom accidents.
No one wants grandma and grandpa stretching (or bending over) and looking for toilet paper. Therefore, it is important to put all essential bathroom items (like toilet paper, towels, soap, and whatever else) in a place that is easily accessible. Older adults should be able to reach and put away these items without struggling. If you don’t have space that is easily accessible (like drawers and shelves), consider one of the many affordable storage options out there.
Install Grab Bars
Did you know that many senior citizens use towel bars to gain their balance while entering and leaving the shower? Since towel bars, when mounted correctly, are only meant to hold the weight of towels. Using this bar to hold up an (unsteady) human is a slippery slope to a bathroom fall.
Coming in many shapes and sizes, one of the best alternatives to using a towel bar for support is installing grab bars. Grab bars are meant to hold up the weight of a human and can be installed around the shower, tub, and near the toilet – helping senior adults maneuver the bathroom safely (while helping to keep their independence).
Add A Raised Toilet Seat
As we get older, standing up and sitting down becomes more difficult. This struggle carries over to the bathroom (and our ability to stand and sit down on a traditional toilet). What can we do to help remedy this issue and help our beloved elders have an easier time using the bathroom?
If a grab bar around the toilet doesn’t meet your needs, then it is time that you get a raised toilet seat. With various models on the market, a raised toilet seat will provide you and your loved one with optimal elder toilet assistance. Based on current mobility and space, contact your healthcare provider to help determine which model is the correct version for your loved one.
Add Non-Slip Strips to the Shower and Tub
With water and soap all over the floor, the shower and bathtub are common places for bathroom falls. In addition, bath mats are bulky, can get bunched up, and moved around. For the safety of your senior loved ones, it is important to replace these safety hazards with non-slip strips. These strips stick directly to the floor, helping to provide seniors with the right texture & extra grip needed to be able to stand on a wet and slippery surface.
Get A Chair for The Shower or Bath
With the tub and shower being extremely slippery, another way to provide senior adults with the stability they need to shower safely is the invest in a chair for the shower and bath. There are many options and designs, so consider your loved one’s mobility level and the amount of space available. To ensure there are no unwanted accidents, consult your doctor for the best models.
Northside Medical Supply, Medical Supply Store nearby, have everything that you need to make sure that your loved one is safe while using the bathroom. So come by and visit us in-store and see everything we have to offer.