Bathrooms are known for their slippery surfaces. As a result, there is arguably no greater risk of slipping and falling in your home than when you are in the bathroom. This is especially true for the shower where the bathing process combines running water with a smooth surface. It should come as no surprise to you that many bathroom injuries take place in the shower.
Now add the fact that most seniors battle with diminished strength and balance. It all equates to bathrooms being pretty dangerous locations of the home for the elderly. Therefore, it’s incredibly important to take major precautions so that the elderly loved ones in your home are safe whenever they are using the bathroom. A recent infographic provided by Modern Bathroom offers up some important tips for keeping seniors safe.
Here are just five:
1. Install grab bars.
As mentioned, many seniors contend with diminished balance. Offering greater opportunities to keep them steady and upright, grab bars make excellent additions to bathrooms. “Grab bars give you something to hold when you’re getting into and out of the shower,” notes the Modern Bathroom infographic, “They also offer a way to catch yourself if you’re about to fall. Add grab bars and safety rails to the shower/ tub and near the toilet.”
2. Add non-skid surfaces.
As we pointed out, bathtub surfaces are incredibly smooth, making slips and falls commonplace for those who aren’t all that steady on their feet. Adding non-slip mats in the bathtub will assist with firmer footing. Modern Bathroom advises to opt for mats instead of skid-proof decals to cover more of the bathtub floor. “Likewise, you may want to add a mat with a rubber backing to the bathroom floor,” they suggest.
3. Put in night lights.
Increasing visibility for seniors is important all throughout the house. Just as balance and strength lessens with age, so too does vision. A nightlight in the bathroom will work wonders in helping your elderly loved one to see his/her way to safety. Says the infographic: “For those middle-of-the-night trips back and forth to the bathroom, nightlights add illumination that can make all the difference between seeing your way safely to the restroom and tripping on something along the way.”
4. Lower the water temperature.
Negotiating between the hot water and cold water valves can often prove troublesome for seniors. The very act of generating a water stream that isn’t too hot or too cold can be dangerous. To avoid the potential for burns from scalding water, Modern Bathroom recommends that you “set the whole-house water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (just under 49 degrees Celcius) or lower so that an elderly person is less likely to get burned.”
5. Provide seating.
It’s a lot harder to slip and fall from a seated position. Adding a shower chair will help to make the process of bathing a lot safer. The Modern Bathroom infographic also suggests adding other seating to the bathroom to help eliminate extended periods of standing to brush teeth and wash up for bed.
At LifeCare Mobility Solutions, we proudly offer shower chairs, night lights, grab bars and numerous other home bathroom medications to improve the safety of your bathroom. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 647-350-4488 or email us at [email protected]. You may also contact us by filling out the form on our Contact page!