According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a fall occurs annually in one in three people over 65. Due to the slippery surfaces, the lavatory is likely to encounter a spill, making it one of the most likely places to experience a fall. If you are getting older yourself, or if you have elderly relatives or friends who come to visit you at your residence, you should give some thought to adding safety features in your bathroom. This is especially important if you use the bathroom alone. If you want to make your restroom more accessible to people of all abilities and lessen the likelihood of accidents occurring inside, consider some of the following suggestions:
Install Hand Rails or Grab Bars: This is a low-tech solution that is simple to put in place, and it has the potential to save the life of another person. Grab bars positioned in the bathtub, the shower, and the area around the toilet make it much simpler for seniors to raise and lower their bodies. Grab bars can be found in bathrooms. Additionally, the availability of anything to grab onto significantly reduces the possibility that the individual may fall because of their predicament.
Modify or Replace the Bathtub: Not only may the interiors of bathtubs be slick at times, but getting in and out of the tub often necessitates stepping over a wall, which can be difficult for persons of advanced age. Think about upgrading from your normal bathtub to a walk-in one that incorporates a door into the wall of the enclosure. People who are limited in their mobility will find this a significant improvement in convenience. If no people living on the property use bathtubs, it may be more cost-effective to remove the tub and install a walk-in shower in its place. Bathing in a walk-in shower, which typically comes with built-in seating, requires the least amount of toil and exertion feasible for both the bather and the bather’s guests.
Add an Adjustable Showerhead: If you instal a seat in the bathtub or shower, you’ll want to ensure that the showerhead is within easy reach of the person sitting on the chair. Installing an adjustable shower head that allows the person to clean themselves while still sitting in a secure position is something that Homewatch Caregivers, which is a sister company to Homewatch, recommends doing.
Look for ADA-Compliant Faucets: People who have trouble reaching the knobs on their faucets and twisting them should be considered during the design process for knob-style faucets. The tap, thank goodness, can be easily swapped out for another one with a longer lever, making it much simpler to use and make any necessary adjustments. Purchase a fixture that satisfies the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It may have additional precautions built into it, such as a hot water safety stop, to ensure that the hot water will burn no one.
Add Anti-Slipping Features: The elderly are particularly susceptible to injuries sustained from falls on slippery bathroom floors; hence, you must instal non-slip mats not just on the floor but also within the bathtub or shower. Use rugs with a rubber backing, so they do not bunch up and allow bathers who are not paying attention to tumble over. This will prevent accidents.
Raise the Toilet: Even if railings are installed to make it easier for senior citizens, it may still be challenging for them to go to the bathroom if they are elderly. If yours is still placed at an elevation that is relatively low to the ground, consider upgrading to a higher model or installing a seat extender, which can make it significantly easier for a person to stand up and sit down. If yours is still placed at a relatively high elevation to the ground, consider upgrading to a higher model.
Keep the water at 120 Degrees: Although conserving energy is something you should already be doing, the stakes are substantially higher when an older person is living in the home. The greatest temperature that can be set on the majority of water heaters is around 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which is far higher than the threshold that most people can tolerate for lengthy periods of time. People who already have trouble maintaining their balance may be more likely to encounter an accident, such as falling, if they are subjected to an unanticipated burning. This might be because of the increased risk of losing consciousness.
Install Adequate Lighting: According to the information provided by Homewatch Caregivers, the desire to use the restroom in the middle of the night is common for people who are 65 years of age or older, as well as for those who are living with certain conditions or using specific medications. On the other hand, if you are already only partially awake, you have an increased chance of tripping or slipping in the toilet, which might lead to falling. This is especially true if you are already only partially awake. The answer to this predicament is to put in place a simple night light that, when it’s dark, will, at the very least, illuminate the location of the light switch.