If you care for someone elderly, you start seeing their environment in new ways, realizing there are obstacles all around them every day. These are things that younger, more able-bodied people don’t even think about.
This is especially true in the bathroom. Getting older often means the body isn’t as strong as it once was. Mobility and balance may have become compromised. It’s important that this doesn’t get in the way of their self-confidence. Providing some tools so they can continue to take care of their daily needs themselves is one way of maintaining or restoring their independence and confidence.
Here are five bathroom safety options that you can install to make the bathroom safer for the elderly and handicapped.
#1: Non-slip Floors
Balance is often compromised in later years, so you should take every precaution to make sure the elderly can stay on their feet. You can help seniors navigate the bathroom better by installing non-slip surfacing on the floors to reduce falls. These non-slip floors also increase their feeling of safety, helping to boost their confidence.
#2: Lever Faucets
Faucets that involve a lot of grabbing power and wrist action are a challenge for people with a weak grip. They often can’t tackle difficult faucets on their own. The better choice would be installing faucets with a lever handle that can be turned with a simple push. This will require less energy to be exerted for a simple task, and it makes the bathroom safer.
#3: Grab Bars and Rails
Grab bars and rails can be installed in the bathroom in areas where someone needs to get up or sit down, like the toilet or the bath. These bars will give them the added support they need to more easily navigate the bathroom. It would also be beneficial to have grab rails around the sink to help stabilize balance when leaning over.
#4: Walk-in Bathtubs
Barrier-free bathtubs feature a swinging door to help the elderly and handicapped get in and out of the bathtub. Rather than having to step over the edge of a low tub, they can open a door, sit at a more accessible height, and close the watertight door behind them. Getting in and out of the bath can often be done without assistance once a walk-in tub is installed.
#5: Thick Rugs
Thick rugs in fall-prone areas ensure that, in case there is a fall, it is cushioned to some extent, preventing serious injuries to seniors. In this way, the last bit of risk is reduced.
The bathroom is often the place where it is hardest to need someone’s help. It can be demeaning to require assistance in this private place. Consider implementing these five tips for bathroom safety for the elderly to give them back some independence, increase their confidence, and keep them safe.