How To Improve Bathroom Safety For Seniors?
Our older adults had taken a right amount of care for us when we needed them the most; they were at our site. Now when it is our turn, we should not lack behind and should take care of them. When it comes to elder safety, we all are a bit confused about where to start, what, and how we will manage, but we do not know that safety first begins from home.
Starting from home, the only room which deserves a lot of attention is the bathroom.
Over 230,000 older adults are injured in the bathroom each year, according to the most recent survey done by the centers for disease control and prevention.
Most of the injuries are caused by falling, with those aged above 60 or older have the highest injury rate, which includes the highest fractures rates and getting bedridden due to these injuries more often.
The thing is not about just sitting and or slipping while having a shower. It is more dangerous when you fall while just merely standing, causing death by brain ham range.
Standing up, sitting down, and getting out of the bathtub or shower, is the number 3 cause of bathroom injuries.
Why Are Bathrooms Dangerous?
Bathrooms are a hazardous spot for older adults at your place because they are small spaces with a lot of hard surfaces and slippery surfaces and corners. Moreover,, sitting down and standing up can cause wooziness or unsteady balance for older adults because of changes in their blood pressure, that could easily lead to devastating fall and injuries.
With this, here are some methods which you can install in your bathroom, and also, it will improve your ability to care for an elderly member in the family. A few simple changes and modifications in the bathroom can minimize the risk of falls and let the aging adults keep their privacy and independence.
- Install grab bars
- Install non-slippery surface
- Improve your accessibility
- Remove obstacles
- Reduce the risk of overexertion
- Improve visibility
- Prevent hot water burns
- Transfer bench or bathroom chair
- Handheld shower head
Install grab bars –
Installing grab bars on either side of the toilet seat is a perfect solution to protect yourself and any elderly member in your family from getting injured. Grab bars are an indispensable tool for older adults. They have two essential functions
- They help older adults grip around when moving in and out of the tub or shower and sitting and getting up from a toilet seat.
- Second is that you can suddenly grab the bar if you are about fall, and by doing this, you will save yourself from falling.
There are also floor pole grab bars available to provide support in even small spaces; they are easy to install, are most helpful, and can be easily removed.
There are different kinds of grab bars in the market, but you should consider choosing substance over style. Invest in the bar, which holds up to 250 pounds, with a textured surface having a diameter of 1.25 – 1.5 inches for easy gripping.
Ensure that you are getting a non-slip textured grab bar; if not, you can apply some non-slip textured grip on it. You can use anti-slip tape like sandpaper.
Install non-slippery surface –
Many older people slip because of the slippery surfaces. Make sure you install non-slippery surfaces like mats and rugs, they come in huge varieties, and you can also invest in getting an anti-slip tub or a shower mat that will secure you when wet.
Non-slip decals should be applied on the bathroom tiles or floors, with a minimalistic look that won’t run the risk of coming loose. Don’t forget to remove the polished rugs and don’t keep any shiny surfaces in the bathroom.
Improve your accessibility –
When designing the bathroom structure, make sure that it is designed so that your commonly used items are under your easy reach. This accessibility will decrease the risk of falling and slipping. This type of accessibility is especially important in the shower or bathtub area. That is why you design shelves so that your soaps, towels, shampoo, conditioner, and other bathing items are within easy reach. It will help to eliminate unnecessary standing, searching, reaching, and reduce the potential of accidents that comes with them.
Remove obstacles –
Bathroom safety can be maintained and improved by eliminating or removing the items that are easily tripped over. One of the most significant risks for the older adults tripping over is their side of the bathtubs. Instead of this, you can install a walk-in shower or walk-in bathtub to prevent older adults’ tripping.
Reduce risks of overexertion –
Overexertion is the number 2 cause of bathroom injuries, which is nowadays very common and is rising. To prevent this, add a raised toilet seat that makes sitting down and rising easier. Consider installing a secure bathing seat and a raised seat for elderly members in your family. This method will help them to avoid overexerting him or herself.
It is also of great help for older adults with knee pain, joint pains, hip pain, etc. and can be a great way to improve bathroom safety.
Improve visibility –
Many older adults have problems such as frequent urination or rushing to the bathroom quite often, especially at night. You can install and invest in night lights or automatic lights that illuminate the bathroom’s walkway to the bedroom and reduce falling and injuries.
Prevent hot water burns –
As we grow old, our skin and bones become thinner and delicate and can take more extended notice to hot temperatures. So think about your elderly members of your family.
Due to this, they are often at increased risk of burns caused by hot water. Ensure that your loved ones’ bathroom taps are appropriately labelled and keep the hot water temperature to 120 Degrees.
Transfer bench and bathroom chair –
Many bathroom accidents involve slipping in and around the tub or shower. A bench and bathroom chair is a great measure and is recommended for your loved ones’ safety. Consider Looking for a sturdy model with suction that provides a non-slip grip and that it has adjustable heights and bars. If the item has the backrest for the stability, what else do you need, it’s good to look for the versatile model to accommodate transfer from a wheelchair.
A walk-in or wheelchair is ideal but cannot be affordable to some people. Luckily, you have a bathtub transfer bench, which is budget-friendly. Benches and chairs like these let you sit down outside of the tub and then hold onto the bars so that you can swing your legs over.
Handheld shower head –
Once you’ve got a bathroom chair, you will need a handheld shower with it. The showerhead is an inexpensive modification that even the most hesitant DIYers can manage with a few basic tools. Don’t get distracted by the fancy showerheads that boost about high pressure. Instead of this, you consider looking for a practical showerhead that comes with an adjustable flow that is easy to manipulate for arthritic fingers.
It is essential to think about your loved ones safe at home. You want to rest easy knowing that daily tasks like going to the bathroom for them won’t cause any harm. Because it can be an excellent comfort while staying at home to use, it is also essential to surviving.
Finally, elder care bathroom safety can always be improved with time by having someone look around to look after your loved one.
Whether the person is a relative, a friend, or a professional caregiver is having someone nearby reduces the risk of your loved ones’ injury in the bathroom. So the above nine tips will make the bathroom a safer place where accidents are less likely to occur.