Bathroom Safety for the Elderly | Bathroom Safety Tips | More Ability
Published: 2 October 2018
Every year, 33% of over 65s experience a fall, and this rises to 50% of 80+ year-olds, which can lead to devastating consequences. Bathrooms in particular can be a dangerous place to fall: after all, it’s a small space, often with hard flooring.
However, there are ways you can make your bathroom a safer place to be – whether it’s for you, or your loved one. Read on, as we show you five small changes you can make to reduce the risks of slips, trips and falls.
Install Grab Bars
Grab bars are inexpensive, yet they’re a really great way to make your bathroom safer. Installing them on the wall by the bathtub and the toilet can help you or your loved one if you struggle with poor balance.
Make sure that your chosen grab bars are slip-resistant, and are within easy reaching dustance. Also, opt for bars that are bolted onto your walls, instead of suction cupped, because suction cup bars can come loose and slip down the wall, which could lead to an increased chance of injury.
If you or your loved one is visually impaired, then choosing high contrast grab bars (e.g. bright colours), can really help to improve your bathroom safety. You can find out more about grab bars with our complete guide.
Make Essential Items Easy to Reach
If you or your loved one is in the bathroom, you should be able to reach everything you need to easily: whether that’s shampoo, conditioner, shower gel or toilet paper.
One great way to improve your bathroom safety, is to place all of your essential items within reaching distance. That means you eliminate the need to crouch down, or stand on tiptoes to try and get something.
In the shower, install a shower caddy that you can fill with your toiletries – but like the grab bars, it’s better to have it installed, as opposed to getting one that uses suction cups, as they can slide down the walls when it gets wet.
Invest in a Walk-In Bathtub
Who doesn’t love a long, good soak in the tub every now and again? The problem is, this can be risky for the elderly, with lots of potential for falling over. One way to prevent this is to invest in a walk-in bathtub.
The need to climb in and out of the bath and lower yourself down and up is removed, as you just open the door on the side of the bathtub, and make yourself comfy on the raised seat inside. We offer a range of walk-in baths for you to choose from. Alternatively, you can take a look at our guide on how to get in and out of the bath safely.
Use Non-Slip Mats
Water naturally makes bathtubs and tiles slippery, which in turn increases the risk of slipping and falling over. One way you can make your bathroom safer is by buying a couple of non-slip mats.
Firstly, place one in the shower, as that can be a high potential place for falls – especially when dropped shampoo, conditioner and shower gel gets involved. Secondly, you should place one directly outside the shower/bath, so when you step out after having a wash, you stand straight onto the mat. The great news is that non-slip mats are very inexpensive – if you don’t have any yet, now’s the time to buy some!
Get a Raised Toilet Seat
Grab bars can help you or your loved one to get on and off the toilet, but if you are finding it increasingly difficult to lower and lift yourself, then the answer may be to get a raised toilet seat in addition to installing the bars.
These toilet seats will raise your toilet by approximately 3-4 inches, which makes it easier to sit down as there’s less distance. Plus they’re easy to install, and don’t look any different to a typical toilet, so no one will ever know you’ve had it adapted to improve the safety of your bathroom.
There are many ways you can make your bathroom safer for the elderly, by reducing the risk of trips and falls. For more advice on bathroom safety, head on over to our blog, or book an appointment with us to see how we can help you.
More Ability, part of the Passmore Group, is Yorkshires leading and most experienced bath & shower room specialist for all types of stylish, safe & practical and bespoke solutions. Offering a fully project managed design & installation service we pride ourselves on meeting individual wants, needs and aspirational requirements for both the public & private sector.
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