The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that at least one of every three senior citizens at least 65 years of age take part in a fall each year. In addition, it is these falls that are the primary cause of non-fatal and fatal injuries among older individuals. When you think about it, the bathroom is one of the most dangerous places in the home for older adults. If you have an elderly loved one who wants to maintain their independence at home, it is crucial that you take the steps to ensure their bathroom is senior-friendly. Here are a few tips:
Older people don’t tend to sleep through the night. The bladder muscles weaken as you age, which can cause you to need to go to the bathroom more frequently, including at night. However, an elderly individual roaming around a dark house at night is an accident waiting to happen. Therefore, it is crucial that there is adequate lighting and that light switches are easy to reach. In addition, nightlights should be in the hallway to ensure that a loved one doesn’t fall on to the way to the bathroom.
The older you get, the less balance that you have. This already puts your loved one at a risk of falling, but when they have to deal with slippery surfaces, such as the bathtub, the risk is that much more. A non-slip mat should be placed in the shower to help with traction. In addition, a bath mat can be placed outside of the shower to step on afterward. This is particularly important for wood and tile floors.
Curbless Showers and Walk-In Tubs
One of the main issues with the traditional bathtub is that your loved one has to step up over the edge of the tub and down again to get into the tub. With a walk-in tub, the stepping is eliminated and you literally walk straight into the tub. There is a watertight door that ensures that water does not escape. For seniors who prefer showers over baths, a curbless shower adds convenience and accessibility in the bathroom. Instead of a foot or more, your loved one will only have to step over a three- or four-inch high lip.
A bidet can be very beneficial for senior citizens. These work to eliminate any type of strain that you would normally need to turn to clean yourself after using the bathroom. Bidets have a warm water wash and a warm air dryer that takes care of the after-use hygiene. For those who do not want a separate bidet, there are toilet-mounted bidets that simply attach to the existing toilet. Some even feature heated seats.
These things are just a few the numerous items that can be added to the bathroom to ensure the safety of your loved ones. For more information, talk to companies like ComForcare Home Care – York, PA.