As we and our loved ones age, minimizing environmental hazards to avert accidental fall risks should be a growing concern, especially in the bathroom where these types of mishaps are unfortunately all too common.
The good news, though, is there are several things you can do to eliminate these potentially life-threatening hazards. We recommend taking these ten steps if you’re looking to create a more senior-friendly bathroom.
1. Install safety grab bars and rails: These make it easier to stand up, sit down, and transfer from one position to another. Grab bars are perfect additions for the bathtub, shower, and even next to the toilet.
2. Use a shower bench or chair: If you need a break from standing in the shower for a long period of time, a shower chair is a convenient way to rest your legs and stay safe while you clean up.
3. Eliminate clutter and make organization easy: All expendable clutter should be eliminated, and important items should be staged in an easily accessible location to avoid straining or dropping them the floor while showering. Mounted shower caddies and other organizational fixtures are also great solutions for this.
4. Install an emergency phone somewhere that is easy to reach: Accidents happen, even with the best prevention plans. It’s always a good idea to have an easy way to call for help should a difficult situation arise.
5. Update, modify, or replace your shower or tub: Perhaps one of the biggest environmental hazards are steep tub walls. They can be extremely dangerous for those with limited mobility, especially when you factor in surrounding slippery surfaces.
Here are a few options to combat this issue:
- Tub-to-shower conversion: Convert an existing bathtub to a shower, eliminating those high walls and making transferring a little bit easier.
- Walk-in tub: Low-threshold doors and shorter walls make getting in and out of these tubs safer and more convenient than a regular bathtub. A comfortable and safe alternative to the standard acrylic bathtub or shower, this option is a great way to make your bathroom senior-friendly.
- Shower or tub replacement: If your current bathtub is covered in mildew, that presents new risks altogether. In this situation, it might be time to consider a shower or tub replacement.
6. Implement anti-slip solutions: This can be in the form of slip-resistant mats, pads, or whatever option makes the most sense for your space. It’s also always a good idea to have a pair of slip-resistant socks or slippers on hand.
7. Install a raised toilet seat: This can make sitting down and standing up much easier, decreasing the range of mobility required to sit down and stand up.
8. Improve lighting: Install plenty of good lighting and have a night light plugged in for any middle-of-the-night bathroom trips. Make sure light switches are easily accessible, or simply install automatic lights.
9. Install a handheld shower head: Convenient and easy to operate, detachable shower heads come in handy if you want to limit physical contortion or clean normally hard-to-reach areas.
10. Remove potential environmental obstacles: This can include bathmats, surrounding rugs, or anything that has the potential to be obstructive.Get started creating your ideal, senior-friendly bathroom today! Contact US Remodeling Group to learn more about the different accessible bathing options we offer or submit our online form to schedule your free, no-obligation estimate today!