The bathroom is one of the places in the home where there is the greatest risk to seniors. January is Bath Safety month which means it’s a great time to take a look around your senior loved one’s bathroom and make any changes that could help your senior loved one be safer in the bathroom. A great place to start is to get rid of or mitigate the risk from these four common hazards:
Faucets That Are Difficult To Turn On And Off
For seniors that have arthritis or just poor grip strength turning faucets on and off can be difficult. If a senior can’t turn the faucet off the sink basin could flood or water could splash on the floor, turning the floors into a hazard. An in-home care provider can turn the faucets off when they are helping your senior loved one with personal care. But you senior loved one needs to be able to turn the faucets off on their own when they are alone. Replacing the existing faucets with touch faucets or faucets with automatic censors is a great way to eliminate this hazard.
Even though it may seem obvious that wet or slippery floors are a hazard what’s not always obvious is the many ways that tile floors in the bathroom can become slippery. Even just a little bit of water on the floor can make the floors slippery. Spilled lotion, shampoo, and other products can also make the floors extremely dangerous for seniors. An in-home care provider can help seniors stay safe by making sure spills are cleaned up right away. But you can also install anti-slip mats or apply a special anti-slip coating to the existing flooring to keep your senior loved one safe.
Clutter in the bathroom is very dangerous for seniors. Clutter on countertops and in the shower or bath leads to spills or knocked over bottles that can create tripping hazards. It can also lead to things like broken glass containers on the floor. Eliminating clutter in the bathroom is one of the best ways to prevent bathroom accidents. To get rid of the clutter you can put away any products that aren’t used regularly and install better storage for the items that get used all the time.
Not Enough Safe Storage
Safe storage is critical for senior bath safety. Towels, washcloths, bath and personal products, and essentials like extra toilet paper need to be stored safely in the bathroom so that they are easy to reach but also out of the way. Look for cabinets and storage that your senior loved one will be able to easily open and close. If the storage you choose has drawers make sure that the drawer pulls are senior friendly and that your senior loved one won’t need a lot of grip strength to operate them. Look for open storage and storage solutions that can be mounted on the walls to eliminate clutter safely.