Your bathroom is used daily by every member of your household. It’s certainly not like your basement or your attic. You see, your bathroom cannot be ignored. It is a must-use area of your home. Because of this, your bathroom needs to be one of the safest rooms in the house. The problem is that this, most often, is not the case.
With the constant presence of moisture and those oh-so-slippery surfaces, the bathroom is a place known for slips, falls and unfortunate injuries. This is especially true if you live with an older adult. Is it time to redesign your bathroom to make it safer? Let’s take a look at a few changes you may wish to make.
Create a slip-free bathroom floor.
Slips and falls are among the top reasons seniors are sent to the hospital. With the notoriously slippery floors of bathrooms presenting clear and present dangers, it’s important to address them immediately. Remove any mats that don’t have extra grips on their bottom sides. It’s vital that non-slip mats are used instead. As Emma of Sunrise Specialty points out, bathroom floor protection begins with rubberized bath mats.
“Their top surface is textured for extra grip while the bottom side has suction pads or ribbing to make it non-slip,” she writes, “Bath mats rarely cover the entire surface of your bathtub or shower, so you can combine them with adhesive sticker threads. Arrange the stick-ons on either side of your bath mat, broadening your protective surface.”
Set the temperature on your water heater.
Preventing the older adult in your home from getting too cold or too hot in the shower is an important undertaking. Naturally, scalding hot water can cause serious burns to the sensitive skin that most seniors have. As well, icy temperatures can startle your elderly loved one to the point of causing a slip and fall. Not to mention, the cold can lead to the exacerbation of health issues.
According to Andréana Lefton on BobVila.com, you can prevent burns from scalding water by setting the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48.8 degrees Celcius) or lower.
Install a walk-in bathtub.
Believe it or not, the simple act of lifting your leg to get into the bathtub can be a dangerous one. While this may sound unrealistic for you personally, it is a harrowing reality for many seniors. The last thing you want is for your elderly loved one to lose his/her balance and take a tumble in the tub. To avoid the need to hop into a bathtub for a bath, exchange your traditional bathtub for the walk-in variety.
“Walk-in tubs and showers are open on one side, so your elderly parent can walk right into the tub or shower without having to lift their feet over the side of the tub or scale their shower steps,” explains Emma, “The ‘gap’ can be ‘closed’ after they enter the tub, and glass shower doors can slide shut.”
At LifeCare Mobility Solutions, we offer walk-in tubs as just one of our many home bathroom modifications. To learn more, 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!