This isn’t the first blog we’ve ever posted about bathroom safety. And it’s certainly not likely to be the last. Not enough can be said about the importance of safeguarding your bathroom in order to ensure the safety of the seniors who use it. Of course, stepping up your attention to taking safety measures in the bathroom is worthwhile for everyone in your household. But, needless to say, the safety of children and seniors requires added efforts.
Improve the lighting situation.
You likely need no reminder that, with age, vision can become impaired. As a result, many seniors require glasses. When an elderly person ventures into the bathroom, it’s imperative that there is ample light so he/she can see any potential obstacles or tripping hazards. The better a person can see, the less likely he/she will be to bump into anything or slip and fall.
“Typical bathrooms have one light in the centre of the ceiling, or above the mirror and vanity,” explains Giuseppe Castrucci of Laurysen Kitchens, “Most bathroom lighting schemes don’t accommodate regular grooming tasks, let alone having to do them with impaired vision. To help prevent accidental falls, it’s important to install a separate light in the shower as well. Don’t forget to have a lighting option that works for middle of the night bathroom visits.”
Change the door handles and knobs.
As we age, we tend to find ourselves with diminished senses of strength and balance. Therefore, making it easy to open and close doors is important. The less strain an elderly person puts on him/herself, the less likely he/she will be to get injured. Michael Franco of Angie’s List suggests that homeowners change the door handles and knobs on bathroom doors to increase the safety of the room.
“Older hands may have a hard time grasping small components, so make sure the bathroom door handle and the knobs on any of the cabinets and sinks are large and easy to use,” he writes, “You may also want to replace the faucets in the shower if they stick or are difficult to turn. When replacing light fixtures, make sure they work with a wall switch and don’t have small knobs that need to be twisted.”
Create a slip-resistant surface to walk on.
Bathrooms are slippery places for all of us. You don’t have to be a senior to fall victim to the slick surfaces presented by tile floors and bathtubs. Add the water needed to take a shower and you have yourself a situation where a slip and fall is practically imminent. Significantly reduce the chances of slipping and falling by adding slip-resistant mats both inside and outside of the tub or shower stall.
“There are literally thousands of great tile designs on the market, but very few of them are appropriate for bathroom floors,” notes Castrucci, “When it comes to what’s underfoot, choose a rougher texture that will provide resistance when the inevitable splashes happen. Simply touching the sample with a hand should give you a good idea.”
At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we proudly offer a variety of bathroom accessibility devices to ensure your safety. They include bathroom super poles, bathroom grab bars, shower grab bars, bath chairs, bath lifts and transfer benches. For more information, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact page!