Bathroom Safety for Older People
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Many older people are not so steady on their feet as they used to be, and this can make the bathroom very dangerous indeed, but don’t despair, with just a few simple additions and adjustments, you can help to make the bathroom a much safer environment for all members of the family.
Bathtubs are one of the main culprits, with many people slipping and falling either climbing into, or out of, the bath. This can be helped by simply using a non-slip mat, they’re cheap, they’re in loads of different designs and styles and they’re easy to fix – just stick them in place with their suckers . . . A non slip bath mat on the floor next to the bath can help to avoid slipping and sliding as you get out too.
Safety Grab Bars are another really simple addition to the bathroom which can make a whole world of difference to older people. It can honestly make the difference between them being able to “go” alone, or rely on other people for help, that’s a real dignity saver isn’t it? One important point is – don’t rely on towel rails to do the job, grab bars are made of stronger stuff and fixed much more solidly, towel rails will not be able to support anyone who loses their balance and can make the situation a whole lot worse. So where should you put them? Well, there are two basic types:
- to help from a standing position, getting in and out of the bath tub
- to help from a seated position, lowering or raising the body in the tub or on to the toilet.
Bath Seats are so simple yet so useful. If someone finds it difficult to sit on the floor of the bath tub, then there are a variety of seats, benches and chairs available making the whole bathing experience much safer and more comfortable.
Showers can be slippery too, so a non slip bath mat should be “suckered” to the floor, and grab rails can be used to help keep the person more stable. Shower chairs are a great addition for anyone who finds it difficult to stand for any period of time. Don’t forget to put a non-slip mat outside the shower too.
Toilet Seats can making “spending a penny” much easier for elderly people. It simply raises the height so that they don’t have to struggle to get up and down quite so far, with the help of your strategically placed grab bars of course.