The bathroom is one of the number one place where falls occur. It is especially important that any hard, sharp or slippery surfaces be made safe and secure so that the elderly can safely use the bathroom. Preventing falls is one of the simplest ways to help seniors live a longer and healthier life.
At Attentive Home Care our caregivers are specially-trained to assist seniors with bathing and other bathroom needs, but it is certainly an easier process for both caregiver and client when the bathroom has safety updates to reduce risk of harm.
Here are some easy ways you can update your bathroom
for optimal safety:
1. Grab Bars: Place properly installed grab bars next to the shower and toilet to assist seniors with rising and sitting. There are even floor-to-ceiling tension poles available for those spaces where grab bars aren't an option.
2. Raised Toilet Seat: This requires no installation! Just purchase one and align it over the existing toilet.
3. Safe, Non-Slip Surfaces Safe: This can be accomplished by using a simple spray-on product in the tub, shower floor or tile floor. There are also special non-slip mats that can be placed on the bathtub or shower floor.
4. Hand-held Shower Head: Replacing the typical high shower head with a hand held one allows for the senior to move the shower head to clean themselves rather than move themselves, lowering the risk of falls.
5. Shower Bench: Adding a shower bench allows the senior to sit while showering so they do not lose their balance and fall. It allows for a safer, less tiring bathing experience and requires no installation!
6. Night Light: Keeping an automatic, LED night light plugged into the wall in the bathroom at all times prevents running into objects by making it easier to see the light switch.
7. Walk-in-Tub: Although they are somewhat pricier than these options, a walk-in-tub provides the safest bathing experience. Seniors can walk directly into the tub instead of stepping inside, risking injury or slipping.
8. Remove Dangerous Items: These include cleaning supplies, razor blades, scissors, etc. Any sharp objects which could cause harm to a senior while they use the bathroom.
9. Adjust the Water Heater: Turning down the water heater temperature helps prevent the senior from accidentally scalding themselves.
10. Non-slip Bath Mats: Maybe even consider covering the entire bathroom tile floor, if it is small, with a non-slip bath mat material.
11. Towel Placement: Place towels within easy reach of the tub or shower. This is something our caregivers will hand to you or assist you with drying if needed.
12. Add a Bell System: Keep a bell system clicker near the shower or tub to alert the caregiver, if they happen to be out of the room, that you are done and need assistance getting out before trying to get out on your own and risking a fall.