The bathroom may be the smallest room in your home, but it can be the most dangerous place, especially for older adults. Usually, bathrooms feature hard surfaces, lots of edges and corners, and small spaces, which increase the risks of falls and accidents. Most seniors have balance issues, frailty, weakness, and cognitive problems like Alzheimer’s disease that can make a simple activity difficult and even risky. Therefore, bathroom safety is a major issue for older adults.
However, even though using the bathroom might be challenging for seniors, it is important to help them maintain their independence and dignity. With simple modifications and tips, you can make going to the bathroom easier, safer and less tiring. Besides, safety means less worrying for you while making it easier for older adults to perform their personal tasks like bathing or using the toilet helps boost their self-esteem and mood.
- 8 Helpful Equipment for Bathroom Safety for Seniors
- 5 Helpful Tips for Bathroom Safety for Seniors
8 Helpful Equipment for Bathroom Safety for Seniors
Injuries that result from bathroom falls range from mild injuries to serious injuries. Fortunately, these accidents can be prevented by adopting some helpful tips and equipment. Here we have researched and picked 8 bathroom safety equipment for seniors that you should consider when making simple modifications in the shower room.
1. Invest in a Back Lotion Applicator
What is a back lotion applicator?
This is a simple tool with an extended handle that is used in applying lotions, creams, and gels on hard to reach areas, especially your back. With the extended handle, the device eliminates the need of having to bend and twist when applying moisturizers on your back or any other hard to reach part of your body.
Why is back lotion applicator helpful?
Cream and lotion application is one of the simple tasks that we do on a day-to-day basis and give little attention. However, it is good to mention that it can be a chore for the seniors and individuals with mobility issues. Usually, we tend to develop mobility issues as we age, which makes it hard for to twist and bend as before. This might sound like a minor issue, but even a simple task like applying lotion or cream on your back can be a painful experience when you cannot twist and bend as you could do in the past.
A back lotion applicator is a simple device that purposely designed to help you apply lotion in any areas that are hard to reach for any individual regardless of age and mobility. Therefore, a back lotion applicator helps seniors and other individuals to apply a moisturizer on their back effortlessly. This helps the elderly maintain their independence as it eliminates the need of the services of a caregiver.
Applying a moisturizer on the back of the seniors offers a variety of benefits to them. It helps soothe irritated skin, relax their entire body, which are the common conditions to the elderly. In addition, applying lotion provides luxurious experience and most importantly a considerably affordable solution to a number of problems. For instance, using a moisturizer is a great way to prevent cracking and peeling of skin and reduces itching. This explains why it is among the equipment that you should consider for bathroom safety for seniors.
2. Install a Bidet
What is a bidet?
A bidet is a type of sink or a plumbing fixture that is specially designed to help wash the genitalia, inner buttocks, anus and perineum. The plumbing fixture may be fitted in the washroom next to the toilet. However, it is good to mention that there are also toilet seats include an electronic bidet on the market. Some are also attachable to standard toilet bowls, which are inexpensive and helps save space.
Why is a bidet helpful?
Bidets are widely used in most countries across the world but are not commonly available in some countries, including the U.S. These fixtures offer many advantages and benefits as compared to a standard toilet. Bidets provide better cleaning and personal hygiene than dry toilet papers as it provides water to remove any residue that is left. Remember, when you use a dry toilet paper there some residues that are left on your skin, which leaves you unclean.
Moreover, a bidet helps you reduce your household waste and save money as you will only be required to use a small amount of toilet paper. Bidets also provide an environmentally friendly option as it reduces the amount of toilet paper that you use. It also helps minimize plumbing issues by preventing clogs in your sewer pipes since a small amount of tissue paper is used. Finally, a bidet is more comfortable to use and offers better skin care than a dry toilet paper. This explains why it is a helpful equipment to have in your bathroom.
3. Invest in the best Bathtub transfer bench
What is a bathtub transfer bench?
A bathtub transfer bench is shower safety mobility device that helps the user to get into a bathtub easily and safely. Usually, the user sits on the safety device that straddles the side of the bathtub and slides gradually to the inside of the tub. This explains why bathtub transfer benches are popular with seniors and people with mobility issues.
Why is a bathtub transfer bench helpful?
As mentioned above, bathtub transfer benches are used by individuals who have trouble getting into the shower or over the bathtub, including individuals with disability or illness. A tub transfer bench is helpful as it offers a safe and comfortable option for transferring.
Usually, the equipment features a non-slip, textured surface on the back and seat and an adjustable seat height as well as a space for shower curtain placement. It also includes slip-resistant tips for enhanced stability. This helps eliminate the need of the services of the caregiver while allowing the seniors to maintain their independence. It also aids in preventing bathroom accidents and risks of injuries that result from slips in the bathroom. Therefore, a bathtub transfer bench is helpful in improving bathroom safety for seniors as it allows them to get in and out of the tub easily and safely.
4. Purchase a Handicap toilet seat with handles
What is Handicap toilet seat with handles?
This is a raised toilet seat that is designed with handles that also acts as armrests. The accessible toilet seat features padded armrests and a locking mechanism that is easy-to-use and fits into the raised toilet to the toilet bowl. Usually, most of the handicap toilet seats with handles are fully adaptable to the needs of people with mobility issues such as the elderly.
Why is handicap toilet seat with handles helpful?
A handicap toilet with handles is helpful in improving bathroom safety for seniors and other individuals with limited mobility as it offers extra support. Usually, most accessible toilet seats with handles are equipped with an easy-to-use locking mechanism that attaches the elongated toilet seat to the bowl. It also includes the padded armrests that offer additional comfort by adding five inches in height. With the soft handles, it is extremely easy for seniors and individuals with back or joint problems to bend and stand easily.
Most of these chairs are also fully adaptable to your needs. Moreover, the arms are usually detachable and are also available as elongated toilet bowls or standard size bowls. The handles install under the toilet set and are relatively easy to fix as instructions are supplied with the product.
5. Invest a Top Quality Handicap Shower Chairs
What are handicap shower chairs?
Handicap shower chairs are lightweight stools that are designed with a backrest and two armrests. These chairs are ideal for people with limited mobility, which include the elderly.
Why are handicap shower chairs helpful?
Handicap shower chairs are helpful to people with mobility issues and the elderly as it helps them to get into the shower safely and easily. It includes a backrest and two armrests that provide extra support to people with limited mobility when getting in and out of the shower. The adjustable shower equipment is an excellent alternative for individuals who feel that a bathtub transfer bench is not secure enough. Besides, shower chairs are designed to offer the much-needed support to your body without putting any pressure on the existing injury for those who are nursing injuries or seniors with back or joint issues.
The best shower chairs should be waterproof, sturdy and durable while providing solidity and comfort to individuals that need it the most. When choosing the ideal shower chair for your bathroom, it is advisable to consider the size of the equipment to ensure that it perfectly fits in the room.
Usually, most industry guidelines provide that a shower chair or bench should be 17 to 19 inches off the shower floor. This will offer enough space for the movement of the seniors when getting in and out of the shower chair.
For people with severe mobility issues, you can try a shower wheelchair as well.
6. Install Toilet safety rails
What are toilet safety rails?
Toilet safety rails are bathroom devices usually installed under or over your commode for enhanced bathroom safety for seniors. They are also known as bathroom safety frames as they help people with mobility impairments, balance issues, arthritis, injuries or generally old age. Therefore, they are purposely designed to offers assistance to individuals who are in need of assistance in using the toilet.
Why are toilet safety rails helpful?
Toilet safety rails or bathroom safety frames are helpful in enhancing bathroom safety for seniors as they are designed to help those in need of assistance in using the toilet. Therefore, they are indispensable bathroom assistance fixtures for individuals with limited mobility, balance issues, injuries, and arthritis or the elderly.
Bathroom safety frames provide strong handrails that allows users to lower and raise themselves from the from and to the toilet. This makes them ideal bathroom safety equipment for seniors. However, it is good to mention that there a couple of different styles when it comes to these bathroom fixtures.
Most of the best bathroom safety frames are easy to put on the toilet and most importantly easy to adjust to a comfortable height. Usually, many users like the stability of the safety frames as it provides them with a great feeling of security, especially if they do not have a caregiver around them.
7. Use a High Toilet
A high toilet is an elongated toilet that adds extra inches to its height to ensure that tall seniors or individuals with joint issues use the toilet comfortably. It allows you to use it comfortably while resting your feet flat on the floor.
Why is a high toilet helpful?
A high toilet is essential bathroom safety equipment for seniors as it helps meet their physical needs. It also makes it extremely easy for the elderly to sit down and stand up. Apart from making it incredibly easy for users to use, these toilets help relieve stress from the joints while maintaining the capabilities and functionality of traditional ones.
8. Install a Transfer Pole
A transfer pole is another bathroom safety equipment for seniors that purposely designed to help individuals with mobility issues. These problems may result from weakening muscles and joint problems due to aging, arthritis or injuries. Besides, a transfer pole is fitted in bathrooms to help prevent unforeseen accidents that can lead to severe injuries to the elderly. This makes it one of the indispensable devices when it comes to bathroom safety for seniors.
Why is a transfer pole helpful?
A transfer pole is essential for bathroom safety for seniors as it is practical and handy assister for people with mobility impairments. It helps them sit down and stand up or move around in the bathroom without risks of unexpected accidents. Moreover, the transfer pole eliminates the need for a caregiver, which gives the elderly a sense of independence.
Maintaining a transfer or security pole is relatively easy and dramatically improves the overall security in your bathroom or ordinary room. This allows the seniors to take control of their lives without risking much.
5 Helpful Tips for Bathroom Safety for Seniors
As mentioned earlier, a bathroom is one of the dangerous places for the elderly in your home. However, the following helpful tips you can significantly reduce the risks of unforeseen accidents. Here are the safety tips for seniors:
1. Use the grab bars
Toilet safety rails and the grab bars around the bathroom are among the most essential equipment for bathroom safety for seniors. Therefore, it is advisable for the elderly or individuals with mobility issues to grab them when getting in or out of the bathtub. Grabbing the bars allows the seniors to steady themselves as they transition on or off the toilet as well as in or out of the tub.
2. Eliminate throw rugs
It is also advisable to get rid of any throw rug in the bathroom. Stepping on a throw rug while getting in or out of the toilet, tub or sink can easily cause you to slide from underneath the feet.
3. Use non-slip mats
Usually, falls in the bathroom result from slippery surfaces, which makes such mats important for bathroom safety. Therefore, you can utilize non-slip mats to prevent unexpected slips when stepping outside of the shower or bathtub.
4. Items accessible
Most seniors are involved in bathroom accidents while trying to reach for bathing items while on the bathtub or shower. This means that making all items such as towels, and clothing accessible is one of the most effective bathroom safety tips for seniors.
5. Always test water temperature
Finally, it is advisable for seniors or caregivers to check the water temperature in the shower or bath before a senior individual takes a shower. This helps reduce sudden movements that could potentially lead to accidents.
Overall, a bathroom is a dangerous place for the elderly, especially bathroom safety equipment have not been installed. This means that bathroom safety for seniors is an important thing to consider when designing our bathrooms. With the helpful tips discussed here and bathroom safety equipment for seniors above, it is possible to prevent unforeseen accidents.