As we get older, even the little things become more challenging. For seniors, mobility issues can affect all aspects of life, including everyday activities like using the bathroom. We've created these safety tips for bathroom safety to increase the independence and accessibility that older adults with mobility issues may struggle with.
Increase Toilet Seat Accessibility
The toilet can be a significant pitfall if you struggle to sit and stand. Toilets are low to the ground, a trait you may never have noticed when you were younger.
Simple tools can raise the height of your toilet and make your trips to the bathroom both more accessible and safer. Raised toilet seats can add four to five inches to the height of your toilet seat. These are designed to be easily secured and removed for cleaning. Some include armrests attached to the sides to offer more security with pads for comfort.
For those needing less support, toilet support rails offer a sturdy frame that wraps around the toilet bowl. These include padded arms for comfort and can be used with or without raised toilet seats. Just because you struggle a little more than you used to with bending, sitting, and standing, there is no reason to compromise your safety or your independence. A simple assistive tool may be all you need to feel safer and more mobile.
Reduce the Chances of Slips and Falls
The older we get, the more prone we become to fall-related injuries. Considering the bathroom is an area filled with slippery surfaces, these chances increase. Securing the bathroom to prevent slips and falls can save you from a trip to the hospital. Install and use these tools to improve your bathroom safety:
- Grab bars: Install grab bars inside the bathtub/shower or next to the toilet to hold onto when entering/exiting the shower or sitting on the toilet.
- Slip Mats: Bath mats include suction cups on the bottom of them and can be easily installed on the tub or shower floor to increase the grip when standing.
- Bathtub Rails: These easily attach to the side of any bathtub providing support when getting in/out of the tub.
- Night Lights: A significant risk and cause of fall-related injuries is tripping over objects. Adding a night light can help visibility and prevent falls from happening
Make Washing Easier
Reduced flexibility and increased fragility of older adults can make regular washing and hygiene practices difficult. The following can make bathing easier:
- Shower Chairs: These sit in the shower/tub and offer support when showering.
- Transfer Benches: Getting in and out of tubs/showers can be difficult for seniors. Transfer benches are long benches that sit in and out of the shower/tub, allowing for smooth transfer into and out of the shower/tub.
- Handheld Shower Sprayers: Installing these help ease the pain of flexibility when washing hard to reach areas. These are often used in unison with shower chairs and transfer benches
- Walk-In Tubs: Traditional tub and showers make seniors more prone to falling and injuring themselves. Walk-in tubs do not have a ledge to step over making getting in and out easier.