Old age is a sensitive stage of life; all our elderly family members desire is a simple life replete with good health, dignity, and independence. These desires, however, don't go well with an unsafe home. In fact, the bathroom is one of the most dangerous rooms in a home, especially for the aging population living independently and people living with disabilities. With all the slick floors, humidity, and hard surfaces, anyone can easily slip, fall, and injure themselves. If they're a senior, there are bigger chances that the injuries will be severe due to their brittle bones. That's why bathroom safety plays such an important role, and it's up to their kin to make their lives a little bit easier. By partnering up with honest and hardworking craftsmen to implement a few bathroom safety tips for seniors, you could make the bathroom a much safer room in your DC home!
#1 Tip: Reduce the Clutter in Your Bathroom
One of the simplest and most crucial bathroom safety tips for seniors is to keep your bathroom neat. As you know, most bathrooms are already tiny, and additional clutter only makes safely maneuvering through this area even more difficult. For example, you should avoid clothes piling up on your senior's bathroom floor. Moreover, you should also get rid of all the countertop clutter and, to make things safer, keep the toiletries inside the cabinets. To avoid the clutter piling up, add decluttering to your cleaning checklist.
Tip #2: Replace the Bathtub with A Shower
Many people love to enjoy a nice, relaxing bath every once in a while. However, the dangers of having a bathtub in a senior's home outweigh the need for a long soak every time. This is because tubs are generally more challenging to enter and exit, shower in, and clean, which increases the danger of the elderly falling. Simply replacing any bathtubs in bathrooms with walk-in showers is one of the best bathroom safety tips for seniors, although it benefits other ages as well. Showers are much easier to get to, which lowers the chance of falling.
Alternatively, instead of replacing your bathtub with a shower, you could opt for a different kind of bathroom accessibility remodel: switching a regular tub to a transition tub. Transition tubs are specialty tubs with watertight doors and contoured built-in chairs that are easy to reach. Unlike walk-in tubs, they feature outward opening doors, which will take up more space in your bathroom. They may, however, be a safer option because the door is entirely out of the way when a person is entering or exiting the tub.
Finally, an even safer option might be no barriers at all. A standard shower has a 6” to 8” curb to step over, which significantly enhances the odds of stumbling and falling. That’s why, here at HandyPro, we always recommend adding a curbless shower in your bathroom. A barrier-free or zero-threshold shower can benefit virtually anyone, and even more so for those of old age or who face mobility challenges.
By replacing a bathtub with a zero-barrier shower, you can seriously reduce the risk of slipping and falling after a shower.
Tip #3: Keep the Floors Dry
This one may seem obvious. However, it's one of the most crucial things you can do to improve restroom safety for the elderly. Damp or wet flooring is a slipping and falling hazard for everyone, but they are especially dangerous for seniors since a fall may be catastrophic to their bones. One of the best ways to ensure safety is to add bathroom mats to your floors. They will soak up the water near your shower, and they usually have grips on the back, which prevent slipping.
Tip #4: Install Grab Bars
Installing grab bars in and around your shower will help your senior feel more secure while going into the shower. Grab bars will also give balancing assistance to those who have difficulty with their balance. This is crucial for bathroom safety and will significantly reduce fall risk. Instead of leaning against the damp, slippery wall for balance, seniors will be able to use the grab bars while bathing. This means they'll have something stable to hang on to if the water suddenly shifts, allowing them to stay stable and safe.
Switching to hand-held showerheads is a great option for seniors.
Tip #5: Install A Shower Seat
Bath seats are another easy way to provide seniors with assistance in the shower. Walking or standing on damp or slippery surfaces, such as wet floors or bathtubs, increases the chance of falling. By providing a place for seniors to sit while bathing, you can seriously reduce the risk of falling. Moreover, installing a shower bench in your shower also creates the illusion of an exquisite and cozy sitting room, which encourages relaxation.
Shower seating has become popular with all ages, not only seniors, recently. So, if you're looking for a new DC home to move into, it might not be impossible to find a home that already has a shower seat. This way you won’t have to go through the trouble of installing it yourself. Though, make sure to hire experienced help in the area if you’re moving with a senior to ensure a swift and easy move.
Tip #6: Change Your Showerhead
Upgrade your regular showerhead to a hand-held alternative to help elders relax and enjoy their shower time. This update goes hand-in-hand with the shower seat. With this device, they'd be able to sit comfortably as they bathe. Hand-held shower heads come in a range of shapes, sizes, and flow rates to best fit the user's demands. Some have built-in handles or may be readily connected to existing showerheads.
Tip #7: Maintain Easy Access to Necessities
We talk a lot on our website about helping our seniors make their homes safe to live in. And one way you can do this is through accessibility, or, to be more specific, maintaining easy access to necessities. Adults over the age of 65 should be able to reach and put away objects easily. If your current cupboards are inaccessible, many inexpensive and adaptable storage options are available online.
Furthermore, accessibility is also vital when bathing. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and other goods are frequently kept around the bathtub or shower's edge. Seniors are at risk of falling when entering and exiting the bathtub and when leaning down to access these objects. To avoid this, you should consider getting a shower caddy or wall-mounted dispensers to hold these products. Either approach guarantees that items are not in the way while still being accessible.
Remove the clutter and make the bathroom safer with a shower caddy or a wall-mounted dispenser.
Seniors shouldn't have to go into the bathroom every time, worrying if they'll fall and injure themselves. They deserve to enjoy their independence while also staying safe in the bathroom. That is why following these bathroom safety tips for seniors should be on the top of your list if you have seniors living in your home. You can't do it alone, though. So, our final advice for the day is to find a team of local handymen who can assist you with making your beloved elderly family member feel safe. But not just anyone should make the cut. You need to find someone who cares as much as you do, and, lucky for you, that's our entire policy!