15 December 2020
This year has led to many of us spending more time at home, particularly the elderly, who have seen the highest level of restrictions and shielding measures during the coronavirus pandemic.
Unfortunately, if you don’t have adequate safety measures in place, more time spent indoors can lead to more accidents as a result of slips and falls.
If you have an elderly parent living with you or wish to gather further information on how to avoid slipping in the bathroom, we’ve put together a list of adaptations you can make to help to avoid slips and falls in one of the most accident-prone rooms within the home.
If you’ve recently had a parent move in, you can also read our full guide on adapting your home for an elderly parent.
When it comes to understanding how to avoid slipping in the bathroom, there are a number of available solutions. Ranging in degree of installation requirement, we’ll offer a comprehensive overview of the options, enabling you to decide which is best for you.
There are a range of accessible shower options which differ slightly in their design. Depending on which you choose, we’d recommend you consider installing a seat in the shower, which can help reduce the risks of slips.
Having to step up and into a shower tray causes an imbalance, potentially leading to an elderly user losing their footing, which could result in a fall.
A mobility level access shower with a seat completely removes this risk: when installed, the visible anti-slip tray is sunk into the floor, creating a level access design.
An accessible wet floor shower for the elderly is purpose-built to meet specific needs and requirements. Also offering level access, the non-visible shower tray is built into the floor and covered with anti-slip vinyl or slip-resistant tiles.
To help avoid slips in the wider bathroom area, the shower is enclosed with a fitted screen, keeping water under control and within the wet area.
In addition to these two accessible shower options there are further solutions available in the form of mobility wet rooms and walk-in baths, but for the purpose of avoiding slipping in the bathroom we feel the options we’ve presented to you are most suited.
One of the most common causes of falls in the bathroom is a wet and/or uneven floor. Installing non-slip flooring is a great way to minimise this risk.
When considering non-slip flooring, you have two main options, both of which can be installed with either of the presented accessible shower solutions:
Also known as non-slip vinyl, anti-slip vinyl flooring is easy to clean and low maintenance. A lower cost solution to floor tiles, it is available in a range of colours and designs.
Available in a range of textures and finishes, slip resistant tiles often include a rugged surface that improves grip and helps to avoid loss of footing.
It’s important to note that tiles can still be slippery when wet, but installing underfloor heating can help to dry tiles quicker and help to avoid any nasty falls.
If you or a loved one struggles with mobility, any loss in balance can lead to a dangerous fall. The installation of grab rails is a quick and simple way to alleviate this risk, and they lend themselves perfectly to enhancing your chosen accessible shower solution.
We recommend fitting grab rails in close proximity to your most used fixtures and fittings, but they can be installed anywhere where you require additional support.
To find out more, read our comprehensive bathroom grab rails buying guide.
Poor or inadequate bathroom lighting can lead to an unfortunate slip or fall, especially if the user suffers from visual impairment. Ensuring a range of lighting options are installed can help a user navigate around the bathroom with safety and ease.
The main options for bathroom lighting include:
In addition, and to further improve a user’s safety, we recommend incorporating motion activated sensors where possible to ensure lights turn on once someone enters the room.
If you or a loved one suffers from significant visual impairment we encourage you to read our dedicated article that highlights the five main considerations when undertaking bathroom adaptations for the visually impaired.
A final option is the purchase and use of a non-slip bath mat. Especially important if you have a traditional bath and want to improve safety without making any permanent alterations, a non-slip bath mat for the elderly is a low-cost and easy way to help to improve grip and balance when stepping in and out of the bath.
Placed in situ as and when required, a non-slip bath mat is an ideal solution for multi-generational homes, with the added benefit that you can take it with you wherever you go.
As a final consideration for how to avoid slipping in the bathroom, we’d always recommend that adequate shoes or footwear be worn when entering the bathroom.
Whether slippers with added grip or non-slip socks for the elderly, both of these are additions to the above that will further enhance overall bathroom safety.
We hope you found our article on how to avoid slipping in the bathroom useful and informative. If you have any questions or would like further advice on the installation of such solutions within your own home please call a friendly member of our team or book a free design appointment online.