Bathroom Safety for the Elderly: 4 Tips to Prevent Injuries

Injury-proofing your elderly loved one’s bathroom is very important.  You  should consider a few basic measures to make the bathroom a safer place. Here are 4 tips to help your loved one avoid bathroom injuries:

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Bathtubs and Showers
Most homes in America have bathtubs that are not accessible. This presents a very big safety issue for people who wish to age in place. For a standard tub there are several things you can do to make it safer for an elderly person. Installing grab bars, shower seats and applying an anti-slip coating to the tub floor are three reasonably priced options. Bathtubs also can be modified to create a safer way to enter the tub, which may be more inexpensive than replacing the tub. There are also a wide variety of walk-in tubs on the market that can replace your existing tub.
For showers, the most accessible option is a roll-in shower. This is a shower stall that has an curb-less entrance and the door (or opening) is a minimum of 36 inches wide. This would allow access for a wheelchair at some point and gives those who walk into the shower plenty of room to maneuver. Source: AgeInPlace

Install Grab Bars
Many elders use towel bars or shower/tub features to hold onto while climbing in and out of the shower/tub. Towel bars are good for holding towels but aren’t built to support weight. Instead, install grab bars in easy-to-reach places to help support balance when entering and exiting the shower or tub.
Grab bars are best suited for elders with good upper-body strength who are able to hold onto grab bars while moving or standing. All grab bars should be slip-resistant (‘grip’ surface bars are better than those bars with high gloss finish), color contrasted from the wall for visibility, and securely fixed to the studs of the wall for adequate support (“bolted on” bars are preferable to suction cup bars, which could easily slip away when body weight is applied). Source: ConsumerAffairs

Keep a Medical Alert Button
Most slips and falls occur in the bathroom. Keeping an extra medical alert button near the toilet is a smart idea so they can summon help right away. The Emergency Wall Communicator option for our HOME & YARD Medical Alert Systems is designed with this in mind. Source: MedicalCareAlert

Raise the Height of the Toilet
Simply raising the toilet’s height as little as three inches can make all the difference for seniors. There are a lot of options for raising the height of the toilet. You can simply raise the height of your existing toilet with a thick toilet seat, or you can replace your old toilet with a “Comfort Height” toilet. Once again, this can be a DIY project, or a project where you call a plumber. Source: TheSeniorList

When it comes to bathroom safety, you and your loved one cannot afford to cut any corners. A safe bathroom will give you the peace of mind that your loved one can go to the bathroom or bath with a significantly lowered risk of injury. For more information, contact us now!


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