For those of you who have seniors in your household, you know very well the struggles they have to go through each day — especially if they have movement and balance issues. The need for making your bathroom senior-friendly immensely increases.
Bathrooms are everyone’s daily destination since this is the area where hygiene rituals are to be done. Unfortunately, most seniors have difficulty using the bathroom mainly because of their degraded physical capabilities due to ageing.
While some may argue that not all seniors have major impairments; we are actually referring to the general senior population who definitely have physical ailments. To avoid accidents, you have to ensure that your bathroom is safe and easy to use for seniors. Here are top tips on how to make it a senior-friendly one:
Make Your Bathroom Senior-Friendly
A lot of seniors have poor vision which means you need to have proper lighting inside your bathroom. Make sure that your switch is near the door once they open it so that they won’t be having a hard time looking for the light switch. You also need to do maintenance check ups for your lighting to keep it in optimum condition and to detect any problems early on.
Pick a bulb that is good and compatible with your fixtures, but make sure it can light your room adequately. We also suggest replacing your lights with the highest wattage LEDs (if possible) in order to have the best lighting possible. You should also install a reliable nightlight that will turn on when the room gets dark.
Install grab bars for easier maneuvering through the bathroom. Always make sure that these are properly anchored on the wall because these will serve as support for standing, sitting, and for emergency situations. Not only will seniors benefit from grab bars but everyone in the household. You see, anyone who meets a slipping accident can use the grab bars to avoid any strong impact when falling. Make the bars accessible by installing them near the door, shower, and/or bathtub.
Lever faucets are a great solution for seniors who have difficulty using the dial type levers.The ‘up and down’ mechanism of a lever faucet saves seniors the trouble of twisting and turning traditional faucets — a difficult task for those who have Parkinson’s disease or any other ailment that causes shaky or uncooperative hand movement.
Non-slip bathroom rugs
These rugs are a great addition to raise security for seniors. Completely removing moisture and dampness of the bathroom is possible but very difficult to achieve due to constant usage of the facility. It’s expected to have slippery floors so you need to place non-slip bathroom rugs to prevent sliding accidents. Place your non-slip bath mats on the entire floor and near the door since these areas are usually wet and are also the main spots for slipping.
In order to enter ordinary bathtubs. need you to lift your legs. This might seem like no trouble for some people but this is an extremely challenging task for most seniors. Installing walk-in bathtubs for them is a great solution. They will not be having a hard traversing through the tub since they can easily go through the walk-in entrance of the bathtub.
Elevated toilet seats
Another important tip for making your bathroom senior-friendly is to have an elevated toilet seat. Generally, toilet seats are low and require the person to bend their knees and exert effort when standing up. It’s quite difficult for seniors to bend their knees and even more when they’re trying to stand up from a very low toilet seat. Elevated toilet seats are perfect for them because you can simply raise its height to make it easier for them to sit and stand.
Avoid using moisturizing soap
Do not let them use moisturizing soaps because it increases the risk of slipping. Moisturizers may leave a smooth and soothing effect on the skin but the problem is that the washed soap residue can make the floor even more slippery. To avoid this problem, use a non-moisturizing soap instead.
Considering installing emergency alarms
This is a great addition for those who are getting older or if you are living with the elderly. Emergency phones alarms can help alert you and anyone in the household in case of accidents. Install your emergency alarms near the toilet, bathtub, and near the shower area.
Widen Your Doorway
If your doorway is not wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers to pass through, then this will definitely cause a struggle for you and the senior. Widen your doorway by at least two inches using inexpensive offset door hinges.
Hot water is perfect for the cold weather but you should be definitely careful if there is a senior in your home. Their aged and wrinkled skin are very sensitive so they will get burned easily. Set your water heater right by 120℉ for a safer bath. You can also add an anti-scalding device on your faucets for better safety.
Hopefully, these tips will help you in making your bathroom senior-friendly. Just keep in mind that even with these tips and safety precautions, you shouldn’t forget to accompany and keep an eye on the seniors in your house.