We all use the bathroom every day. There’s no need to be shy about it. It’s a fact of life. Most of us take bathroom use for granted. It’s simply a part of our daily routines and not much thinking goes into it. However, for both senior citizens and individuals with mobility issues, using the bathroom can be a troubling experience. This is especially true if the user contends with balance issues. The last thing you want is a slip and fall to occur in the bathroom.
Do you live with an elderly loved one or person with disabilities? What should be done to ensure the bathrooms in your home are safe places?
Clear the path to the bathroom.
A competent approach to bathroom safety actually begins outside of the bathroom. It’s important, of course, to keep bathroom floors clear of debris in order to eliminate tripping hazards. But the path to the bathroom must be just as safe. Consider the distance between your elderly parent’s bed and the bathroom. Are there any obstacles in the way? Are there any cords or wires that need to be tucked away? Making it easy to access the bathroom is the first step to making bathroom use a safe experience.
Kansas-based Mount Hope Nursing Center also reminds us of the importance of a widened doorway. “Is the doorway wide enough?” asks their website, “You may find you need to retrofit the doorway to accommodate a person who is struggling to get through or who may now have to use a walker.”
Brighten the lights.
Generally, you won’t trip over something that you can see clearly. So don’t underestimate the importance of good lighting. Many bathrooms have several places for light bulbs to be installed. For example, some mirrors are equipped with lights just above their reflective surfaces. If one goes out and the others are still lit, it’s no big deal, right? Well, not so much for those with vision impairments. Make it a rule of thumb to keep your bathroom as bright as possible.
“Roughly half a million Canadians are estimated to live with significant vision loss, a condition which is most common among seniors,” informs Vancouver’s Home2stay, “To make sure your eyes are working to their maximum potential in the bathroom, consider installing new lighting fixtures and pay attention to their lumen outputs. Also pay attention to your light bulbs and make sure you change them regularly.”
Install a walk-in tub.
Believe it or not, one of the most dangerous acts, that take place in a bathroom, is the step taken into the bathtub. For many of us, it sounds like an easy task. For so many others, that step is just high enough to create a loss of balance. Needless to say, a tumble either in or out of the tub can lead to a serious injury. Slips and falls are common causes for hospitalizations of elderly people. Exchanging your traditional tub for the walk-in variety will help to prevent a hospital visit.
“Stepping over a threshold and into a shower/tub adds an extra risk when bathing, and can be impossible to manage for people who rely on walking aids,” says Home2stay, “Walk-in tubs minimize this threshold and also come equipped with extra features like hydro-jets to help relieve aching limbs or deep muscle pain.”
Widened doorways, night lights and walk-in tubs are just three of the many home bathroom modifications offered by LifeCare Mobility Solutions. To learn more, 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!