It’s important for all of us to take precautions when entering a bathroom. Yes, we all use the bathroom daily and pretty much take for granted that we’re safe when we’re in there. For most seniors, however, safety is not something that can be taken for granted. It’s practically mandatory for them to find ways to ensure the bathrooms they use are fall-proof.
We’d suggest that while no room could ever technically be “fall-proof”, there are certainly a number of steps that can be taken to minimize the risk of falling in the bathroom.
Place non-skid mats on the floor.
This is an age-old tip that will really never get all that old. It should be considered a must to place non-skid mats on both the floor of the bathroom and the bathtub floor. By giving bathrooms users less slippery surfaces to walk on, their chances of falling are greatly reduced. Non-skid mats make excellent replacements for throw rugs and bath mats that aren’t affixed to the floor and, in actuality, create tripping hazards.
“Stepping out of the shower or bathtub also presents a problem, even if you have a walk in shower,” writes Esther Kane on SeniorSafetyAdvice.com, “You’re wet and the floors in bathrooms are normally slippery. So, using a non-skid or non-slip bath mat is very important. The varieties today are endless and you can purchase them most anywhere.”
De-clutter and organize the bathroom.
How many bathrooms have you seen that contain counters filled with cosmetic and cleaning products? There’s barely enough space to place a toothbrush down! There’s a reason bathrooms contain cupboards and cabinets. Be sure to use them appropriately. Keep counters clear and keep the floor clear of any debris. The neater and tidier your bathroom, the fewer dangers it will present to the seniors who use it.
It’s important, however, to organize the bathroom in a way that maximizes the safety of the specific older adult using it. “My mother had a habit of keeping her toothbrush and toothpaste in the cabinet below her sink,” explains Kane, “There was nothing wrong with this generally. But, as she grew older and began to lose her balance more often, the act of having to bend down to obtain these items and put them away twice a day became a safety issue.”
Install grab bars.
We doubt we’ll ever tire of offering this piece of advice. The installation of grab bars is, undoubtedly, one of the greatest bathroom safety measures you can take. Unlike towel racks, grab bars have the ability to support an adult’s weight. Be sure to never use a towel rack to maintain your balance. A grab bar is what is necessary to give the older adult in your family better leverage when getting on or off the toilet or getting in or out of the shower.
“Installing grab bars and rails in the shower, bathtub and near the toilet makes bathing and using the toilet easier not only for the elderly person, but for the caregiver as well,” notes TheSeniorList.com, “The grab bars and rails can be installed yourself or you can hire someone to do the work.”
At LifeCare Mobility Solutions, we offer a variety of home bathroom modifications to increase the safety of completing basic daily living activities in your home. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 416-267-9800 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact us by filling out the form on our Contact page!