Injury-proofing your elderly loved one’s bathroom is very crucial, but also very simple to do. Here are 9 tips to help your loved one avoid bathroom injuries:
- Install anchor grab bars in and around the shower, bathtub and toilet. Use solid screws; don’t just nail them into the drywall. Then, test them for strength and stability by grabbing onto them as if you were actually falling. They should not budge.
- Place non-skid mats and decals on the floor of the shower stall or bathtub, as well as on the surrounding floor.
- Consider placing a stool or shower chair in the shower stall. A walk-in bath may be a good option, as well.
- Make sure there are places to sit and take care of toiletries, such as brushing the teeth, if your loved one tires quickly.
- Make sure the towels, soap and shampoo are within easy reach from the shower or tub.
- Put nightlights or motion lighting on the path from your loved one’s bedroom to the bathroom, and even in the bathroom itself.
- The toilet can be modified with a raised toilet seat. A higher rising toilet can also be installed.
- Make sure faucets are easy to turn and clearly marked “hot” and “cold.”
- Remove any dangerous rugs that could cause slips and trips; replace them with anti-slip mats (especially around the shower or bathtub) or textured tile flooring.
When it comes to bathroom safety, you and your loved one cannot afford to cut any corners. A safe bathroom will give you the peace of mind that your loved one can go to the bathroom or bathe with a significantly lowered risk of injury.
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