According to the National Institute on Aging, one in every three senior citizens over age 65 suffers from a fall each year. Out of this number, about 80% of these unfortunate occurrences happen in the bathroom. Unfortunately, bathrooms are a fall hazard and particularly so for seniors with reduced coordination, strength, and failing eyesight. What are some ideas for designing a safe bathroom for seniors?
7 Tips to Make Your Bathroom Senior-Friendly
Fortunately, with a few adjustments or a complete bathroom renovation, you can dramatically improve senior bathroom safety. Here are seven tips to protect those you care about from bathroom falls, especially for seniors requiring in-home care.
1. Install Lever Faucets
Lever faucets are senior-friendly because they eliminate the twisting and turning that can be very difficult for the elderly. There are hundreds to choose from, including faucets that are foot-operated. They’re not difficult to install, but it’s always a good idea to talk with a plumber before doing it yourself.
2. Get A Wand For Your Shower-head
A shower-head wand that can be detached and held in the hand makes bathing much more manageable. It helps eliminate the need to stand while showering, which is a big plus for seniors that have difficulty standing for long periods. Being able to sit while showering also means more independence for the elderly.
3. Install Grab Bars And Rails
This is one of the easiest and most cost-effective things you can do to make your bathroom more senior-friendly. By installing grab bars and rails in the shower, bathtub, and near the toilet, you make using the bathroom easier for your senior, as well as the caregiver.
4. Raise The Height Of The Toilet
Raising the toilet’s height by as little as three inches makes a world of difference for seniors. You can do it by installing a thicker toilet seat, or you can replace your old toilet with a “comfort height” toilet. It can be a DIY project, or you can enlist a plumber’s assistance.
5. Use Non-Slip Bath Mats And Rugs
This is one of the easiest ways to prevent falls in the bathroom. Placing a non-slip mat in the shower helps prevent the senior from slipping while showering, and a non-slip rug on the floor outside of the shower or tub helps keep your loved one from slipping and falling.
6. Install A Curbless Shower Or Walk-In Tub
Putting in a curbless or frameless shower can be a lifesaver for seniors that can’t lift their legs. A curbless shower makes the transition from a wheelchair to a shower seat easier for both the senior and caregiver.
Walk-in tubs are also a popular option since they’re much easier to access than traditional tubs, and many of them have a built-in seat as well. The advantage of a walk-in tub is the ease of use for seniors, and pre-fabricated units also make this project quick and easy for a plumber to complete.
7. Have Plenty Of Lighting In The Bathroom
Many people believe that overhead lighting is the best illumination in the bathroom. But, these lights are problematic for many seniors. They cast shadows and don’t fully illuminate certain spaces in the bathroom. Be sure to add multiple lights so that all areas of the bathroom are well-lit. Using contrasting colors to delineate different sections of the bathroom can also be helpful for seniors.
Making your bathroom safer for the senior in your life will protect them physically and give both of you greater peace-of-mind. Start tackling this list today and reduce the possibility of a fall for your loved one.
Let Our Caregivers Help
Our highly trained caregivers can help keep your senior from falling or be there for them in the unfortunate event that they do. At Home Instead, our mission is lifting the spirits of those we serve by offering them dependable and affordable home care options. To learn more about Home Instead Senior Care or to schedule a FREE consultation for a senior in Naples, Fort Myers, Charlotte County, or the surrounding areas today, please visit us at www.homeinsteadswfl.com.