By Erica Garland
A primary concern of senior citizens is whether they can continue to live independently as they get older. Their loved ones often have the same concerns. Even if seniors want to continue to live on their own, they must confront the fact that they may not be as capable of some things as they once were. For many people, the inevitable result of aging is that senses become much less sharp, thinking may not occur as quickly as in the past, and senior citizens may not be as strong physically or as coordinated as when they were younger. Many people must make adjustments as they get older to accommodate for these changes, whether it’s by wearing glasses, using a cane or taking medication.
For seniors who want to continue living in their homes, they also must consider making some changes to their residences to make them more livable. In particular, the bathroom can be one of the most dangerous rooms for the elderly. That’s why it’s important for seniors and their loved ones to consider adapting their bathrooms to make them safer to use. If you or someone you love is getting older and wants to continue to live independently, you can benefit from the following tips to make the bathroom a safer place.
Install Grab Bars
Attaching safety rails or grab bars near the tub, shower and toilet not only will make it easier for seniors to get in or out, but they also provide something to grab onto in case they slip on a wet floor. The risk of broken bones is serious for the elderly, so grab bars can help prevent a potentially tragic accident.
Use Nonskid Surfaces
Slippery floors are one of the biggest risks for seniors in the bathroom. Adding skid-proof surfaces can counter this. These surfaces should cover the entire bottom of the bathtub or shower stall. Any rugs in the bathroom should feature a nonskid rubber backing
Make Sure the Room Has Nightlights
Eyesight typically becomes poorer as we age, especially night vision. Adding nightlights that turn on automatically in the dark can help make it easier for seniors to find their way to the bathroom at night. This will help prevent injuries that may occur from tripping and falling en route to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
Ensure Adequate Seating
Standing for extended periods of time can be tiring and risky for many seniors. It’s recommended that seniors have chairs where they can sit while brushing their teeth, combing their hair or any other activity that may take more than a few moments. It’s also a good idea to install seating in the shower stall so seniors can sit while showering. Seniors also may want to consider adding a raised toilet seat that will make it easier for them to sit down and stand back up.
Keep Water Temperatures in a Safe Range
Because seniors may have trouble seeing the temperature setting on their faucets and they may not be able to quickly turn the handles if the water is too hot, it’s a good idea to keep the house’s water heater temperature under 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This will reduce the chances that seniors can scald themselves accidentally in the tub or shower.
Keep Essential Items Within Reach
Seniors may hurt themselves if they have to stretch or bend over to access things they need in the bathroom, such as shampoo or a hairbrush. This is why it’s important to make sure that everything they need is always kept within arm’s reach. Using baskets or caddies to keep individual items together and within reach can be an effective safety measure.
Getting older means making some adjustments to the way we live, and in some cases these changes are necessary to keep us safe. If you’re concerned about yourself or a loved one staying safe in the bathroom at an advanced age, put these tips to use.
Author bio: Erica Garland is Content Marketing Manager at Modern Bathroom and has 15 years of experience in the bathroom renovation industry. Modern Bathroom sells a variety of products you would need for any bathroom renovation project. With such a large selection of vanities, faucets, sinks, toilets and showers, Modern Bathroom is sure to have the perfect piece to give your bathroom an updated look.