With Christmas less than a week away, many of us are considering the ways in which we plan on celebrating the holidays. Those ways, of course, are bound to be pretty different this year. The coronavirus pandemic is making it so that traditional get-togethers are cautioned against. For those of us who live with seniors, it’s especially important to follow COVID-19 safety protocol. The elderly, of course, are most susceptible to the negative health effects of the virus.
Living with older adults means that many precautions need to be taken. A heightened awareness of an older person’s safety is especially required for the bathroom. As we all know, bathrooms often have slippery surfaces. When combined with the instability that many seniors have, a slippery bathroom floor can become an almost-instant hazard. Why not place a focus on making your bathrooms safer this holiday season?
Put all toiletries within reach.
For many seniors, stretching and bending can cause major aches and pains. If toiletries are out of reach, these aches and pains will only worsen. Is the cabinet too high for your elderly loved one to get to? Does the cupboard require some uncomfortable bending down? This holiday season, it may be wise to install some shelving to make all bathroom necessities easily accessible to the senior in your home.
“Make sure toiletries e.g. soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, towel, etc. are within reach,” insists HolidayRetirement.com, “Avoid clutter and take away things that are unnecessary.”
Clear the floor.
Earlier, we made mention of those notoriously-slippery bathroom floors. Because they are typically tiled, bathroom floors often cause people to lose their footing. If the elderly loved one in your home has problems with balance, you’ll want to make sure the floors are made slip-free. This can be accomplished with non-slip mats. However, be sure to make them the only things on the bathroom floor. A cluttered walkway only presents further unnecessary tripping hazards.
“Make sure that the floor is kept clear and free of any debris or clothing that could become a hazard or cause a fall,” agrees Anneliese Peterson on WalkerMethodist.org.
Mark your faucets.
It’s no secret that many elderly people contend with vision issues. As a result, the simple act of turning on the tap can result in an injury. You don’t want your elderly loved one to scald his/her skin with water that is too hot. At the same time, a burst of ice cold water from the shower can startle a senior, causing him/her to slip and fall…or worse. Clearly label the faucets with “hot” and “cold” signs to eliminate the potential for disaster.
“Ensure that faucets are clearly marked hot and cold,” agrees HolidayRetirement.com, “Set the hot water temperature to a maximum of 120°F (approximately 49 degrees Celcius). This will help prevent scalding and burns. Faucets should also be easy to turn on and off.”
At LifeCare Mobility Solutions, we proudly offer a wide variety of home bathroom modifications to help make your bathrooms safer. Could they make for ideal holiday gifts? For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 416-267-9800 or email us at [email protected]. You may also contact us by filling out the form on our Contact page.