If you live with a senior in your home, you know that taking safety precautions is a year-round requirement. But with the coronavirus forcing us to spend even lengthier periods inside our homes, elder safety is more important than ever. This is especially true in the bathroom which is known for offering potential dangers. What can you do to safeguard it for your elderly loved one?
Always monitor the water temperature.
Depending on the physical and mental state of your elderly loved one, you may want to make a habit out of checking the temperature of the water he/she uses. Naturally, this is especially important when bathing. One of the last things you want is for the senior in your home to be burned with scalding water. Freezing water does him/her no favours either.
As the Government of Alberta reminds us, some health conditions such as diabetes can make skin less sensitive to temperature. To protect from burns, they suggest always turning on the cold water first and turning it off last. As well, you might want to “use a thermometer to check the water temperature before you get in the tub or shower. A safe water range is between 38 °C to 43 °C (100 °F to 109 °F).”
Place regularly-used objects in easy-to-reach locations.
Are medications and toiletries placed in high-up cupboards that might be hard for your elderly loved one to reach? Are the cabinets in your bathroom so cluttered, it may be difficult for a senior to find what he/she is looking for? Making sure the older adult in your home has easy access to what he/she needs is a key ingredient to a safe household. NurseNextDoor.com suggests installing a shower caddy to make the bathing process a stress-free one.
“You can place all the items you’ll be using in a bath or shower in a set place at all times and keeping it out of the way,” the site notes, “A shower caddy that can hang on a shower head means the items you’re using will be at arm’s reach, which reduces the chances you’ll have to bend down and potentially slip or sprain yourself.”
Make slips and falls next to impossible.
Reduce clutter in the bathroom. Make it so that the floor is completely clear of any tripping hazards. That includes throw rugs and/or mats. Any mats on the floor should be of the non-skid variety. You also want to ensure that any and all spills are immediately wiped up. Needless to say, bathroom surfaces can get wet fairly often. We would argue that preventing slips and falls in the bathroom is easily the best way to keep your elderly loved one safe when using it.
“Use grab bars in your bath or shower to help you get in and out,” recommends the Alberta government, “You can replace towel racks with grab bars and still hang your towels on them. Use a bath or shower mat made for inside the tub, or put in non-slip treads. Replace them if they do not stick.”
Grab bars are just one of the many bathroom accessibility devices offered by Advantage Home Health Solutions. To learn more about them, 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!