Seniors may suffer from an enervating disease that causes loss of mobility, vision, and impaired balance. Hence, their chances of encountering accidents, especially in the bathroom, are high. Some of the bathroom hazards cause injuries and results to death.
For elderlies with lost strength, standing on the shower and getting out of the bathtub can be challenging. They fear to fall, which forces them to leave their homes and visit a care facility to use a senior-friendly bathroom.
Thankful, there is a lot you can do to make the bathroom a safe place for your elderly. A user-friendly bathroom can enhance the seniors’ independence, sense of security, and comfort.
Additionally, giving the seniors confidence to perform tasks like using the bathroom can boost their esteem and mood. In this case, designing a safe and accessible bathroom is vital. You can decide to make a couple of adjustments or a complete renovation to enhance safety. Here are tips to make a senior-friendly bathroom:
Ensure adequate and good lighting
Most seniors have poor eyesight, which leads to slip-related injuries. A bathroom with proper and ample lighting helps to reduce accidents. However, many homeowners believe that having overhead lighting is the best illumination for the seniors’ bathroom.
Such lighting casts shadows and does not illuminate specific spaces. Thus, it is essential to add multiple lights to various places to distribute light on different areas. To enhance the brightness, you can install bulbs that have more than 968 lumens.
Additionally, a light switch that has neon indicators is essential in every senior’s bathroom. It allows the elderly to have an easy time when finding the switch.
Install safety grab bars
Most of the bathroom accidents occur due to lack of enough support. Having safety bars throughout the bathroom where the seniors will have access to them is a great idea to reduce the risks of falling.
Many elderlies rely on the towel bars for support. Although they aid in balancing, they are not a good idea for holding a person’s weight.
Installing well-designed grab bars will allow the seniors to maneuver around the bathroom easily. You can install them above the tub, next to the toilet, along the walls, outside the shower, or bathtub.
However, not all grab bars are suitable for seniors. One that is slip-resistant is vital to enhance safety. Also, grab bars with contrasting colors are crucial. They are quick to see, making it easy for the elderly to grip.
Install an easy to use walk-in tub
People with old age find it challenging to get into the bathtub. Some climb over the edge of the tub, which can cause risks of falling and injuries. Others depend on the caregivers to shower.
A walk-in tub shower will keep the seniors safe from falling and allow them to be more independent. This tub has a door that will enable the user to walk in without having worries of climbing over the edges. Also, they come with an anti-slip design to add overall safety of the tub.
Use non-slip floor tiles
Most of the bathroom hazards occur due to the slippery floors. A little moisture on the floor can cause danger, especially for people with mobility challenges. It is, therefore, crucial to install only the slip-resistant floor tiles.
If this seems not to be a good option, you can consider buying adequate bathroom mats to cover the entire floor. A non-slip mat should be your priority. It is a must-have item for the elderly because it allows them to navigate the bathroom without encountering risks of falling. You can opt for a gripping rubber mat to prevent slipping even if it gets wet.
Install raised toilets
Most seniors have challenges with their knees and joints, which makes it difficult to bend. This becomes a problem when sitting or getting back up of a lower toilet. Thankfully, there are comfort height toilets that allow the seniors to sit and stand without putting much stress on their back.
Although most of the toilets come with grip bars, it is crucial to install additional bars on the wall to enhance safety and support.
Invest a quality shower seat
As people age, the ability to remain balanced on the shower diminishes. For this reason, you need to install a shower seat when making a user-friendly bathroom for the seniors. It provides excellent bathing experience without having worries of falling or encountering problems related to knees and joints.
Install a showerhead
As you are aware, old age leads to less mobility, making it difficult for seniors to use the bathroom efficiently. However, this does not mean that the elderly will have to stay for days without bathing.
Thankfully, there are the handle showerheads that allow the seniors to independently clean themselves while seated. This device is mobile. Thus, the seniors can quickly raise and control it for a better bathing experience.
It is crucial to install the showerhead at a level that the seniors can easily reach.
Put essential items within reach
A user-friendly bathroom for the senior should have all the vital requirements. The elderly should enjoy bathing without encountering the risks of falling. Due to their old age, moving around the bathroom can read to accidents.
Thus, it is necessary to install all the items within easy reach. They should access them without having to stretch or bend. Having a shower caddy at the arm’s height of the senior will allow him or her to reach items like shampoos and soaps.
Also, you can install a dispenser on the wall of the shower. With this, you will not have to worry about bottles slipping out of the senior’s hands.
As people age, they face mobility challenges, and the daily bathroom routines become a problem. However, you can prevent the bathroom from being a daunting place for seniors with simple, practical solutions.
A user-friendly bathroom will allow the seniors to feel more confident and enable them to maintain an aspect of independence. Nevertheless, it is crucial to keep in mind that even if you have a well-designed and safe bathroom, it is essential to assist and keep an eye on the elders.