Although often overlooked, bathrooms present special challenges for elderly people, as surfaces tend to be slick, and the constant presence of moisture increases the risk of falls and other injuries. Furthermore, those with mobility problems, arthritis, or other age-related conditions may find it more difficult to maneuver in and out of the shower or bathtub. Wondering what you or an aging loved one can do to enhance safety in the bathroom? Check out these convenient and simple bathroom safety changes.
Popular among seniors, these tubs can actually be walked into. A watertight door shuts behind the senior, and he or she can use a built-in seat while the water runs. This prevents falls from stepping over the edge of the tub and reduces the risk of slipping while bathing. Adding a walk-in tub does require construction, so if you’re not able to commit to such a project, take a look at the various shower seats available. The seats are sturdy and can be placed in the shower, increasing safety while bathing.
One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide elderly home care. Turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.
One of the easiest ways to enhance safety and security in the bathroom is by installing grab bars. A horizontal bar should be installed about three feet above the bottom of the tub, and another should be installed vertically near the fixtures. They should both be at least two feet long for maximum assistance. Two other grab bars should be installed on the side wall of the shower stall, and a smaller grab bar should be installed on the back wall. The placement of these shower bars will help your loved one get in and out of the tub or shower, no matter what position he or she is in.
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For seniors, the best type of faucet is one that uses levers instead of knobs. These are easier for seniors to operate because they don’t require gripping and turning, motions that become more difficult with age. There are also specialty faucets and valves designed to reduce the risk of scalding by not allowing the water to go above a certain temperature, which is especially important for seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
There shouldn’t be any changes in floor level between the hallway or bedroom and the bathroom. If there is a change, consider putting down nonslip mats, which should also be placed outside the shower and in front of the sink. This will provide a more stable surface for your loved one to walk on.
Lighting & Electricity
Ample lighting is important in the bathroom, and a nightlight should be plugged in to guide your loved one to the bathroom during the evening or in the middle of the night. The easier it is for your loved one to see, the less likely he or she is to have an accident. Safety plugs should also be placed in outlets, and any electronic equipment should be tucked away in drawers or cabinets away from running water.
Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Edmonton, AB, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call (780) 490-7337 today.