Most of us take bathroom use for granted. After all, it’s a room of the home we use every day. As a result, we assume it’s safe to use and usually don’t even think twice about it. For seniors and individuals with mobility issues, however, the bathroom can be a bit of a dangerous place. Between the slippery tiles and the constant presence of moisture, a bathroom is a place where slips and falls can easily occur.
What steps can be taken to prevent bathroom mishaps?
Put all shower necessities within reach.
Sometimes, the supposedly-simple acts of bending down and reaching up can be enough for someone with mobility issues to lose his/her balance. Try to avoid this in your shower. Place all shower necessities on an easy-to-reach shelf. We’re talking shampoos, conditioners, body washes, soaps, wash rags and loofahs. They should all be stored not much lower than eye level.
“Ensuring that commonly utilized things are inside simple reach in the bathroom where the danger of slipping or falling is increased,” says Kerovit.com, “This is particularly significant in the shower/bath. Ensure that towels, shampoo, conditioner, etc. are in simple reach.”
Install grab bars.
It should come as no surprise to you that this tip is a top way to prevent bathroom mishaps. By installing grab bars, you give all of your bathroom’s users extra leverage to keep them upright. Arguably, grab bars are the best ways to prevent slips and falls in the bathroom. As Brian O. Sutter of Florida’s All Injuries Law Firm points out, keeping your balance can get a lot harder as you get older, especially in places that are often wet and slippery.
“Place grab bars or rails in or around the shower, bathtub, and the toilet in order to give you and others something sturdy to hold onto,” he instructs, “You will find that grab bars and rails come in a large variety of lengths, textures, and styles so you should have no trouble finding one that fits your bathroom. However, it is important to note that a towel bar or soap dish is not a suitable substitute and will not be able to hold your weight.”
Raise your toilet seat.
By having a raised toilet seat, you make it much easier for people with disabilities to get on and off the toilet. Sometimes, the mere acts of sitting down and standing up can cause dizziness that leads to a loss of balance. For elderly individuals, a raised toilet seat can significantly reduce the dangers in the bathroom.
“Is your toilet seat low?” asks Sutter, “You should consider purchasing a toilet seat extender or a toilet with a higher seat. A low toilet seat can make it challenging to get up safely and takes a lot more effort to do so. If you are someone with mobility issues, the last thing you need is to have trouble getting up and down from the toilet.”
At LifeCare Mobility Solutions, we provide a variety of home bathroom modifications including grab bars and raised toilet seats. Other modifications can be as simple as changing water faucet handles from knobs to levers. Alternatively, they can be as comprehensive as replacing the shower or bathtub with something more accessible.