1) Install a Raised Toilet Seat
It can be hard for some seniors to sit as low as a standard toilet seat, and bending your knees to sit may cause falls. To prevent injuries, consider installing a raised toilet seat with handles to make using the restroom safer. Raised toilet seats make it easier to squat and provide more stability than traditionall options. They are relatively inexpensive and can save you from a disastrous accident.
2) Put Essentials Within Reach
Your bath time essentials, such as shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, should be close enough to discourage reaching and bending. These motions can cause injury in the blink of an eye and make it harder for you to shower or bathe. To solve this problem, place a caddy within arm’s reach with all your necessities, or consider wall dispensers instead of clunky bottles. These bottles can trip you or slip out of your hands, leading to potential accidents. Soap dispensers on the wall are easy to reach, inexpensive to install, and can be refilled easily by yourself or a caregiver.
3) Add Traction
One of the easiest changes you can make to ensure bathroom safety is to add increased traction to your tub and bathroom floor. Non-slip mats are great to add to the bottom of your bathtub and shower because they make it safer for you to stand, and non-slip rugs can serve as both decor and a safety feature outside of the tub. These additions will help minimize slips, falls, and injuries.
4) Install Grab Bars
If you have difficulty getting in and out of the shower or bath, grab bars can be a great addition. They are easy to install and can be placed strategically to save yourself from a fall or provide more stability. We suggest adding in actual bars, rather than relying on a towel bar or rack; towel racks aren’t designed to hold much body weight.
5) Invest in a Walk-In Tub
There’s no reason why seniors should have to sacrifice the comfort and therapy of a bath due to mobility issues. Walk-in tubs are a safe option because they have a door and low threshold for easy access. With a walk-in tub, you don’t have to risk stepping over a high bathtub rim and onto a slick, wet surface. Instead, you can simply enter your tub, take a seat, and wait for the water to submerse you in relaxation. When it’s time to get out, just quickly drain the water and walk out easily and safely.
Celebrate National Bath Safety Month in January by taking a good look at the safety of your bathroom. Do you have enough traction to prevent slipping? Can you reach your toiletries without having to bend or stretch? Can you take a bath without risking a fall? All of these are great questions to ask yourself, and our recommendations will help keep you safe, comfortable, and independent!