Senior often have to deal with weakness, balance issues and frailty simply because their bodies are not young. They also have to face cognitive issues such as Alzheimer’s. All these factors combine to make even simple tasks like going to the bathroom a complicated one because the risk of falls is quite high when you are not as physically or mentally strong as you were earlier.
Bathrooms are dangerous for people, especially seniors because they are usually small spaces containing several corners and hard surfaces. Seniors are also at the risk of dizziness or losing their balance if they sit down or get up suddenly at the bathroom due to changes in blood pressure. This dizziness and loss of balance often result in a fall.
If you are a senior who likes being independent and finds the idea of taking assistance while using the bathroom terrifying, you should know that there are some simple modifications you can do or tips you can follow to make it possible for you to use the bathroom independently with minimal risk. Top 4 simple bathroom safety tips for seniors are mentioned right here.
1. Add Ample Light
Make sure that every corner of the bathroom is well lit and there are no dark areas in the bathroom. It will ensure that you as a senior avoid falls or injuries. When there is ample light in the bathroom, you will be able to see obstacles that might increase the risk of a fall. Ample lighting is essential in the bathrooms of seniors who have balance or vision issues.
It would be best if the bathroom is situated in that corner of your home where there is ample natural light because it will save on electricity bills during the day. If not, make sure you add many artificial lights to the bathroom to make it more luminous. While adding the lights, make sure that the wall lights don’t come in the way. It’s smart to use ceiling lights whenever possible if you are a senior as they light up the entire room without being in your way.
2. Add Awesome Accessories
Adding useful accessories is also smart for seniors who want to make the bathroom safer. Some accessories you can try are mentioned here. The first one is grab bars that can be added to shower or tub or near the toilet to allow you to hold onto it while entering or exiting the bathroom. Another option is to buy a bath chair that helps you to enjoy a bath while sitting down and stay safe. You should also invest in non slip strips at the bottom of a shower or tub if you don’t want to slip on soap or shampoo suds.
It is also smart to buy a hand-held shower handle to make your shower safe and stress-free while allowing you to choose a setting that offers maximum enjoyment and relaxation during the shower. While adding useful accessories, you cannot skip investing in a toilet seat riser that will prevent falls while using the restrooms. If you prefer relaxing baths over showers, you can invest in walk-in tubs too.
3. Focus on the Floor
As a senior, you might know that floors are usually the most dangerous areas of bathrooms because even a few drops of water on the floor can make you slip. So, you must ensure that the floor has no debris or clothing or a soap dish that can make you fall. It is also highly recommended that you avoid using throw rugs because they also lead to accidents if your foot gets stuck in them. In case you must add throw rugs in your bathroom, opt for rugs that have grips on the bottom.
It is also a smart idea to keep the floor dry as much as possible. Invest in a mop or broom that you can use while standing to clean up water after every time you use the bathroom. Ensure that the floor is not even damp for long because again, it can cause a very dangerous situation.
4. Take Your Time
Many seniors make the mistake of rushing things when they use the bathroom which increases the risk of falls and leads to injuries. Make sure that you avoid this mistake by taking your time in the bathroom and going slowly. Even if you are short on time, watch every step in the bathroom (literally!) and focus on your balance.
When in a hurry, people often forget to wait for the water to be at an ideal temperature and often take showers at a higher than recommended temperatures. This is a mistake because seniors have more delicate and thin skin as compared to other people which means that they are at an increased risk of burns that could be caused by hot water. To avoid this mistake, add labels to the taps and make sure you never exceed the maximum limit of 120 F.
Now, that you have learned simple bathroom safety tips for seniors, it is also smart to read tips to prevent falls at home.