As we grow older, our abilities change, and the bathroom becomes an increasingly dangerous place. In fact, most accidents in the home happen in the bathroom. Luckily, with just a few handy, adaptive devices and smart, common sense changes, you can equip your bathroom to be senior safe. In this article, we discuss some simple, affordable safety aids for a senior’s bathroom. Read on to learn more.
Choose Products That Provide These Features
1. Good Lighting: Check the lighting in your bathroom. If your light bulbs are dim, replace them with bulbs of a higher wattage. Keep all light fixture covers clean at all times to optimize lighting in the bathroom. Install a good night light in the bathroom and several all along the path leading to the bathroom to help minimize tripping and falling at night.
2. Security: When stepping into the tub or shower or sitting down or rising from the toilet, it’s a good idea for seniors to have something to hold onto for stability. Don’t take chances with freestanding furniture or shaky towel racks. Install ADA approved grab bars by the toilet and in and around the shower or tub for a secure grip.
TIP: 3M Scotch Gripping Tape is a flexible, thin high-grip tape you can use on handrails and grab bars to make them even more secure. This affordable product eliminates the worry of losing your grip with wet or soapy hands.
3. Portable Safety: If you will be staying away from home, you can take a toilet safety frame with you to provide ease of sitting on and rising from the toilet. This device looks something like a walker and can be folded up for easy transport from place to place. It is also adjustable to fit any setting. A toilet safety frame or support handicap bar, provides a secure handhold on each side of the toilet seat.
4. Portable Tub Safety: Handy, portable bathtub safety grab bars are ideal for taking along when traveling. The adjustable device locks onto the side of any tub without tools to provide a secure hand hold. Rubber lining prevents any damage or marring of the surface of the tub.
5. Portable Grab Bar: Another great way to take a grab bar along when visiting is to invest in a floor-to-ceiling grab bar. These work using tension, require no tools to install and can fit anywhere.
6. Easy Showering: If standing, turning and generally contorting yourself to get good contact with the water while showering is a problem, invest in a nice hand-held shower. This simple, affordable device makes it easy to wash your back and other hard to reach places whether you sit or stand to shower. If you have someone helping you shower, the hand-held shower makes the task a lot easier.
7. Non-Slip Surface: It’s very important that the floor of your tub or shower provide good traction to keep you safe from falls. This can be accomplished with stick-on treads or mats held in place with suction cups, but the very best option by far is use of a permanent, anti-slip coating which is painted or sprayed onto your tub or shower floor. This clear product will not wear out or provide a breeding ground for mildew.
8. Easy Sitting: If you are finding it a struggle to rise from the toilet seat, it may be that your toilet is just too low for you. Luckily, you don’t have to replace the whole fixture. You can just get an affordable raised toilet seat to increase the height securely and comfortably. These devices also have arms to provide a good grip and added security.
9. Keep Your Tub: You don't have to have a walk in tub. If you have been having trouble stepping over the side of your tub, you can get a sturdy, safe sliding transfer bench that will allow you to sit down on the outside of the tub, lift your legs over the side and then slide on the bench to a position seated over the tub to take your bath or shower. When you’re done, just slide back out without worrying about tripping and falling.
10. Stay Connected: It’s a good idea to keep your cell phone with you or have a landline installed in your bathroom so that you can call for help if you fall or become stuck. Alternately, you may wish to invest in a medical alert device to keep with you at all times in case of emergency.
Simple Fixes Help Seniors Enjoy Independence And Safety
These days, there are so many clever affordable devices available to make life easier for everyone, and an added benefit is that these devices also make life safer for seniors and others with mobility challenges. Taking advantage of simple, affordable solutions can help you stay safe, self-sufficient and independent as you enjoy your senior years.