Ways To Make Your Bathroom Safer For Elderly Relatives
When you are living with a relative who is older, you will need to adapt your home so it is safe for them to move around, as well as make sure that all areas are accessible to them.
Of course, the level of adaptation will vary based on the mobility issues that your relative has, but it’s worth noting that one area where many people with limited mobility struggle is in the bathroom.
It is sad to say that this room is the main area in the home (besides the stairs) where accidents happen to elderly people. Therefore, it is well worth knowing what can be done to keep your relatives safe when they are bathing or showering.
So, read on to learn about the best ways to adapt your bathroom for those who are older or have limited mobility.
It isn’t an issue that many younger or more agile people think about, but when you are older, bending to sit on the toilet can be very uncomfortable. One option is to have a mobility-friendly toilet installed. These are usually higher than regular toilets, which helps those who cannot bend too far to access them without hurting themselves. While these may sound pricey, they aren’t, and they can easily be found online on websites such as beautifulbathroom.net.
Bathrooms are slippery, especially when your balance is already not great. One way you can make a bathroom instantly safer for your elderly loved one is to install grab rails. Typically, you will want to place these next to the toilet, next to the bath, and around the shower.
This will help your loved one to balance as they lift their legs or sit without putting too much pressure on their joints. Grab rails also help those who may need a bit more time to get up and sit down to not rush themselves, thus reducing the risk of pulled muscles.
Of course, not all adaptations have to be expensive. On the inside of the bathtub and outside it, it is generally wise to have an anti-slip mat. This will offer a stable base for your loved one to stand on when they clean themselves or when they are drying themselves after a bath or shower. This will prevent slips and falls and could potentially save their life.
For many elderly people who have arthritis, standing for even a few minutes can be uncomfortable. So, when it comes to bathing, it may be best to install a shower chair. This will help your loved one to be able to sit while they shower, taking pressure off of their legs, hips, and ankles and allowing them to move with more ease to clean. Shower chairs also reduce the risk of falls that can happen in a slippery shower, too.
It can be worth moving all of the shampoo, shower gels, and lotions to a cupboard in your bathroom that is within easy reach. If your elderly loved one has to tiptoe, they may lose their balance and slip; and if they have to bend down, they may injure their back or legs. So, aim to have these cupboards fitted at head height and ensure they do not require leaning to access them.