It is a well-known fact that the kitchen and bathrooms are two riskiest places in a home because that is where most accidents or falls take place. The obvious reason for the falls in most cases is the presence of moisture in these areas. If you have seniors at home or you have crossed the 60 years age mark, you should consider taking a few steps to make a bathroom safer and less prone to accidents.
Doing so will ensure that the senior feels independent and doesn’t expect or has to tolerate someone watching their every step. While thinking of these changes, you should also know that though some of these changes will be costly, especially if you want the best quality, they will be worth your money because they will help avoid trips to the hospital and the expenses associated with the same.
Though many changes can be done in a bathroom to make it convenient for seniors, the top 5 options for senior-friendly bathrooms are mentioned over here. Do consider them all and adopt as many as possible.
1. Take the Help of Handrails
The first and easiest change you need to do in your bathroom to make it senior friendly is to add handrails that will assist a senior with everything from walking to sitting and even standing up on their own. Also known as grab bars, these are available in a variety of colors and styles so you can pick ones that match your bathroom interior perfectly and don’t look out of place. This is a perfect way to merge style with safety.
2. Make Showers Safer
Once you have added handrails in the bathroom, you should make the process of taking a shower safer for seniors by adding a walk-in shower. You can also opt to buy a swivel shower chair for seniors who can’t stand for long due to aging or a health condition. These chairs rotate 360 degrees which allow you to not only get in and out of shower easily but also easily turn when you are in the shower. When buying a chair like this, make sure that you trust a reputed brand and pick an option that’s stable and comfortable. Also look for other features like padded seats, removable arms, adjustable legs, drainage holes, rust proof material, and easy assembly.
3. Consider a Step in Tub
If a senior at your home prefers a bath over showers, you should consider adding a step-in tub that a senior can use to soak stiff joints and relax all the muscles. When you opt for this choice, the senior would be able to sit on a comfortable bench and close a small door on the side of the tub. While picking a tub, choose one that comes with hand held sprayers that can be used to bathe easily. When a senior finish a bath, he or she can drain the water, open the door and step back out feeling refreshed and energized.
4. Don’t Forget the Toilet
After you have made it easy for a senior to move around in the bathroom and take a bath or shower easily, you should not forget the importance of having a comfortable toilet seat. To make things easier for a senior, you should invest in a higher toilet seat. Adding it is essential if the senior has weak muscles, knee pain or back pain (especiallyback pain that impacts the ability to do even the simplest daily tasks). The toilet options you must consider are available in chair height or comfort height. They can make a lot of difference when coupled with the right handrails.
5. Make the Floor Slip Proof
In most Canadian homes that have been built decades before, the floor surfaces are usually worn, or they don’t meet the current safety criteria. If you live in such a home, then you should know that these floors can create a huge slip risk for seniors, especially when the floor is wet. So, you should make the flooring safer by opting for tile or natural stone flooring surfaces in your bathroom as it will allow the senior to move freely and without worrying about watching their step. An add-on benefit of this decision would be that your bathroom will look beautiful and up to date.
Once you adopt a few of the solutions as mentioned above, the senior at your home will be grateful for your effort and would realize how much you love them or care for them. It is also a smart idea to constantly remind seniors to read useful resources like how to prevent falls. It might enlighten them on small changes they can make to stay safe not only in the bathrooms but everywhere they go.