Bathroom for the Elderly: Safety Tips
The bathroom is considered to be one of the most hazardous spaces in a house for the elderly. Frequent water use makes the area slippery, thus older people are prone to falls, which can cause irreversible and fatal injuries. This has been a constant reason of worry among the families who are taking care of their old parents and grandparents.
Safety should be a primary consideration when building or modifying bathrooms to make it suitable for the elderly. Here are some modifications tips to minimize the risk of bathroom incidents:
Switch to Slip-proof flooring and tubs.
Elderly individuals are more likely to slip as they develop weaker muscle, balance, and coordination. Wet floors and slippery bathing essentials and cosmetics residue amplify the risks. Slip proof coating for the floors may prevent these accidents. There are also tiles designed to prevent slips. Mats and bathroom carpets are also good for additional safety measure.
Porcelain and ceramic tubs are part of the problem. Curved, smooth, and wet tubs spell disaster. Coating modification can provide a temporary solution to this concern. Some home improvement services offer ceramic, porcelain and fiberglass treatment to make them skid-proof. One can also change their old tubs and buy an anti-slippery designed bath tubs.
Install proper drainage.
Standing water after using a bath is common. The drainage system should be functional to prevent the excess pool of water from staying too long and prevent any drainage backflow.
Poorly designed drainage impedes the water seepage and may promote bacteria growth as the bathroom floor remains flooded. It may release some unwanted odour due to the backflow water. If this problem is present, an immediate inspection of the fixture is necessary. Plumbing services, like 24 HR Plumber, will be able to assess and determine the fault in your drainage system.
Put bathroom handles and grips.
Elders often times have difficulty in standing up and balancing themselves. It is crucial that grab bars are installed in the baths to help our seniors enjoy their bath time.
Baths may feel overcrowded and confined if the grips and bars are on improper areas. They may also cause additional unwanted accidents. So make sure that handles and grip are installed in key areas only.
Allow wheelchair access.
The bathroom should be made more accessible for the elderlies who use wheelchairs. Space and flooring should be designed properly. A functional ramp on the entrance will be a sensible choice to make it easier for the elderly to use the bath. The bath should be sufficiently spacious for the person to move and turn around in his/her wheelchair, too.
Install proper lighting.
Most of us develop eyesight problems as we age. A well-lit bath will mitigate the risk of bumping into counters or walls and tripping on items left on the floor. Motion activated light can also help the elderly be at ease, as they don’t have to bother looking for the switch.
When it comes to safety, you should never second doubt. Spending some money in order to make sure that the bathroom is safe for elderly use is nothing but a small sacrifice.