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The bathroom can be dangerous room in the home for seniors, most senior falls that occur in the home happen in the bathroom. Common bathroom hazards for seniors include slippery flooring, small space, sharp edges, and lack of secured grab bars.
A few adjustments can make the bathroom safer for seniors and can minimize the risk of falls or injuries. Here are 7 simple and easy to implement tips to senior-proof the bathroom:
1. Install Grab Bars
Installing grab bars near the toilet, in the shower or around the bathtub provides support when getting up or getting in or out the shower and prevent falls.
2. Have Adequate Lighting
Having proper lighting is important, many falls happen because of poor visibility, also its important to install the switches in easily accessible places. Installing night lights that illuminate the walkway from the bedroom to the bathroom can be helpful too.
3. Have Items within Easy Reach
Commonly used items should be organized and placed within easy reach without having to stretch or bend. Installing a sturdy shower caddy can help make it easier to reach items like shampoo and soaps. Mounted dispensers can be installed on the wall of the bathtub or shower or sink replacing bottles, so there is no need to worry about bottles falling and creating more hazard.
4. Prevent Hot Water Burns
Make sure that faucets are clearly marked “hot” and “cold”. Set the hot water temperature to a maximum of 120°F to reduce the risk of burn caused by hot water.
5. Add Non-Skid Surfaces
To prevent slips, install non-slip decals on the floor of bathtub or shower stall and the bathroom floor. place a non-slip mat on the floor of the bathtub or shower. And remove Throw Rugs and replace them with non-Slip rugs with rubber backing.
6. Use a Sturdy Shower Chair or Transfer Bench
Shower chairs and transfer benches help seniors to bathe safely. Shower chairs helps increase safety and provide additional support for seniors while showering. A transfer bench is helpful for people who need extra support getting in and out of the bathtub or shower.
7. Install a Raised Toilet Seat with Grab Bars
Raised toilet seats make it easier for seniors to sit down and get up, the grab bars reduce the risk of a fall and provide additional balance assistance and more support.