Most elderly individuals would much prefer to age in place than to spend their days in assisted living facilities. And who could blame them? We all know that the old adage “there’s no place like home” is absolutely true. When you’re able to live in the comfort of a place that is familiar to you, includes your family members and is where you’ve enjoyed many good memories, life is simply better.
However, the state of one’s home must change to accommodate the ever-changing needs of a senior citizen. Especially when that senior has mobility issues, there are certain measures that must be taken to ensure his/her safety. Arguably, there’s no place that requires the addition of safety measures than the bathroom.
Ensure that the bathroom is easily visible.
This, of course, is especially important at night when most of the lights are off and the senior in your home is most likely to get out of bed to use the bathroom. Night lights and easy-to-reach fixtures will help to ensure that your elderly loved one will find his/her way around in the dark.
APlaceForMom.com also recommends that you use door locks that can be opened from both sides. That way, if the senior in your home wants privacy, he/she can have it. But in the case of an emergency, he/she will not be locked in the bathroom without getting easy access to assistance.
Make bathroom surfaces skid-proof.
The site also points out the ever-important need to place skid-proof mats in the bathtub. We’d also recommend such mats on the bathroom floor so as to significantly reduce the risk of slips and falls.
Citing a recent report, Lynn Desjardins of Radio International Canada reveals that “every day in 2016-2017, almost 1,800 people in Canada went to hospital emergency rooms as a result of a fall…Research by the non-profit Canadian Institute for Health Information also found that every day there were 417 hospital stays of at least one night because of a fall.”
Install grab bars.
Grab bars are also very important additions to bathrooms in the “keeping seniors safe” game. Naturally, they help to support one’s balance. Let it be known that grab bars and towel racks are not created equal. Don’t assume that just because your elderly loved one may have a towel rack to grab on to, that he/she will be safe from falling.
“Grab bars are designed to support people’s weight,” informs Phil Hochhausen of Advantage Home Health Solutions, “By holding on to a grab bar while walking into a bathroom, sitting on or getting up from a toilet and entering or exiting a shower or tub, one can be assured of better balance. With grab bars, the risk of slipping and falling is significantly reduced. Towel bars, by their very nature, are not meant for us to use as support.”
Let’s work together on making your bathroom safer!
At LifeCare Mobility Solutions, we offer a variety of home bathroom modifications that will help to increase senior safety. Modifications can be as simple as changing water faucet handles from knobs to levers or as comprehensive as replacing the shower or bathtub with something more accessible. Of course, we also have night lights and grab bars!
If you have any questions about the bathroom modifications offered by LifeCare Mobility Solutions, 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!