It should come as no surprise to you that bathrooms can be especially hazardous for seniors. Bathrooms are notorious for having hard surfaces that are slick, slippery and often wet. As a result, seniors who have mobility issues are at risk of getting injured when in the bathroom. So, naturally, it’s vital to make your bathroom as safe a place as possible.
What common mobility issues make bathrooms unsafe for seniors?
Limited mobility or balance problems.
Seniors with limited mobility or balance problems may struggle to get in and out of the shower or bathtub. Standing for long periods of time can also be challenging. Aches and pains that come with the simple act of standing up can make it difficult for older adults to wash their hair or clean their bodies. These mobility issues can lead to falls, which can cause serious injuries such as broken bones or head trauma.
To address these issues, consider installing grab bars near the bathtub, shower and toilet to provide support and stability. In addition, a shower chair or bench can be used to provide a stable seating option while bathing.
Arthritis is a common ailment among seniors. The affliction can cause pain and stiffness in the joints. Arthritic pain can make it difficult to turn knobs, grip objects or open doors. Of course, this can make bathroom tasks difficult. Seniors with arthritis may also experience difficulty standing up from the toilet or getting in and out of the bathtub or shower.
To help alleviate these issues, consider replacing knobs with lever handles, which are easier to turn. As well, non-slip mats can be placed in the bathtub or shower to reduce the risk of slipping and provide additional support for the feet.
Older adults often endure issues with their vision. Naturally, the harder it is to see, the more difficult it can be to navigate the bathroom safely. Seniors with impaired vision may not be able to see potential hazards such as wet floors or objects in their path. This can lead to falls and injuries.
To improve safety, ensure that the bathroom is well-lit and that light switches are easily accessible. Consider installing nightlights to help seniors navigate the bathroom during the night. Also, contrasting colours can be used to help seniors identify potential hazards more easily.
Limited range of motion.
Elderly individuals with limited ranges of motion may struggle to reach objects or twist their bodies in certain ways. This can make it difficult to clean themselves properly, particularly in hard-to-reach areas.
To address these concerns, consider using long-handled bath brushes or sponges to help seniors reach difficult areas. Additionally, hand-held showerheads can be helpful, as they allow seniors to direct the water where they need it most.
At LifeCare Mobility Solutions, we offer a wide variety of home bathroom modifications. They include oversized light switches, roll in showers, bath lift chairs, transfer benches, walk in tubs, night lights, grab bars, raised support toilet seats and shower chairs. 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!