Creating safe bathrooms for seniors doesn’t have to be costly or difficult to achieve. In this article we explore seven cost effective and easy ways to make bathrooms as senior friendly as possible.
Splish Splash, I Was Taking A Bath
Perhaps several years ago that was true for seniors.
But today, getting in and out of a bathtub for a splish-splash bath is a risky proposition.
According to CDC, 80 percent of falls sustained in the home happen in the bathroom. This statistic highlights the importance of stability in the bathroom to prevent injury.
With their limited mobility, the bathroom can be an even more dangerous place for senior citizens because of the slippery surfaces, high steps, and hard-to-reach items.
However, with a few simple modifications, a senior’s bathroom can be transformed into a safe and accessible space.
For seniors who have lost mobility and strength, standing in a bathtub or shower for a long time isn’t possible, and getting in and out of the bathtub is risky. However, there has been enormous progress in creating safe bathrooms for seniors.
Two of the changes include a sprayer attachment so that the senior can sit while bathing and curb-less showers that remove the need to step up for access.
Besides helping the senior to be more independent, they also help the elderly caregiver give better care to your loved ones.
7 Ideas For Safe Bathrooms For Seniors
To that end, we have put together this list to help you purchase the right bathroom products to make safe bathrooms for seniors.
1. Change all the faucets to lever faucets.
This removes the twisting and turning that can be difficult for the elderly. There are many different styles to choose from, including foot-operated faucets.
2. Attach a sprayer to the shower head.
A detachable shower head that can be held in the hand makes bathing easy. It also eliminates the need to stand while showering. Being able to sit and shower means more independence for the elderly.
3. Install grab bars and rails.
This is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to make your bathroom more senior-friendly. Installing grab bars and rails in the shower, bathtub, and near the toilet makes bathing and using the toilet easier, not only for the elderly person but for the caregiver as well.
4. Raise the height of the toilet.
Simply raising the toilet’s height as little as three inches can make all the difference for seniors. There are a lot of options for raising the height of the toilet. You can simply raise the height of your existing toilet with a thick toilet seat or replace your old toilet with an ADA-approved “Comfort Height” toilet.
5. Non-slip flooring or bath mats and rugs.
This is another easy way to prevent falls in the bathroom. Our first choice is to install non-slip flooring such as textured tiles. If this is not financially possible, we recommend placing a non-slip mat in the shower to prevent your loved one from falling while showering. A non-slip rug on the floor outside the shower prevents any slipping once the senior is out of the shower.
6. Curb-less showers and Walk-in bathtubs.
If your senior has a hard time lifting their legs, a curb-less shower is a great lifesaver It also can make the transition from wheelchair to shower seat simple and easy for the senior and the caregiver.
Walk-in bathtubs are another popular option because they are so much easier to access than traditional tubs, and most have a built-in seat.
7. Install adequate lighting in the bathroom.
By improving visibility, the risk of falls can be reduced a lot. Sufficient lighting should be over the sink, near the toilet, and in the shower. We also recommend adding night lights to help the senior in your life navigate the bathroom at night without needing to fumble for the light switch.
When all of these things have been improved, it is important to keep the bathroom well-organized and clutter-free. Clear all the countertops except for items that are frequently used. You may need to add shelves and storage baskets to keep essential items organized and easily accessible.