7 Steps to Improving Bath Safety for Seniors
January is National Bath Safety Month, and the idea is to promote awareness to prevent potential hazards that are in our bathrooms and dangers they present to everyone, but especially to children and the elderly. One of the most important things caregivers can do to help aging adults maintain independence is to improve bathroom safety.
A few simple changes and bathroom safety products can minimize the risk of falls and accidents and let aging adults keep their privacy and independence. Here are 7 areas where bathroom safety can improve your ability to care for an aging adult while helping them maintain their independence.
- Declutter and Organize
- Keeping things tidy and organized is one of the easiest and most important steps you can take to help seniors avoid bathroom falls. Decluttering and organizing products throughout the bathroom and keeping out only those items used daily will be a helpful step in bathroom safety for elderly individuals.
- Install grab bars
- Grab bars are an indispensable tool for elder care bathroom safety. Grab bars are an excellent and economical alternative to help older adults maneuver in and around the shower or bathtub. They can also be installed near the toilet to aid with leverage and balance.
- Grab bars come in many different shapes and sizes and performs two functions. First, they give your loved one something to grip and anchor themselves with when moving in/out of the tub or on/off the toilet. Second, in the case of a fall, grab bars can help your loved one catch or brace themselves.
- Update lighting
- One of the most important steps to take to provide bathroom safety for elderly individuals is to install proper lighting. Poor lighting in the bathroom increases the risk of falls. The ideal lighting setup needs to be bright enough so the elderly can see what they are doing, but not too bright that it blinds them, which often could result in dizziness or loss of balance.
- Invest in a shower or bathchair
- For seniors with problems with standings or balancing, a simple solution is to use a waterproof shower or bath chair. These are often referred to as bath chairs, shower stools, or shower benches. There are different options to accommodate specific needs. It’s best to consult with a doctor or healthcare provider to determine which is the best fit for your senior loved ones’ needs.
- Install a taller toilet or raised toilet seat
- Many older adults may find it challenging to lower themselves down onto a traditional toilet seat as they age. An elevated toilet seat can make it easier to transfer on and off the toilet. A higher toilet seat decreases the joint range of motion and overall strength you need to navigate the toilet.
- Use non-slip mats, shower/bathtubs
- Elderly people can have a difficult time bathing independently. A great addition to grabbing bars in a bathroom is the use of non-slip bathmats. They can help to prevent falls and make bath times (or showering) safer and more comfortable.
- One of the most important features to look for in a bathmat, especially if you are elderly or have balance issues, is slip resistance. A mat that is slip resistant will help to prevent falls and injuries in the bathroom.
- Add an Emergency Call Button
- An emergency call button or medical alert systems allow a user to call for help. Medical Alert IDs or emergency call buttons are designed to have the device within easy reach should help be needed.
Elder care bathroom safety can always be improved by having someone around to look after your loved one. LifeWorx offers in-home care services that can give you peace of mind when it comes to keeping your senior loved one safe from unexpected slips and falls. Our care team can help with personal needs including bathing, grooming, dressing, etc. To learn more about the services we offer and how can help, contact your nearest location today.
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