Table of Contents
- What Makes Bathrooms Risky For Seniors and Handicapped?
- Bath Aids
- Essential Tips for Safely Bathing the Elderly
- Showering Accessory Tips for the Handicapped
Last updated on: February 9th, 2020
A bathroom is one of the essential rooms in your house, and as much as it brings comfort, it can turn hazardous especially for seniors and handicapped if not constructed with caution. Therefore if you have these groups of people in your house, then you have every reason to take necessary measures to ensure their bathroom visits are safe at all times.
Keep reading for more information.
What Makes Bathrooms Risky For Seniors and Handicapped?
As much as bathroom accidents can affect anyone at any time, they are more prominent among seniors and the handicapped.
The main reason for this could be because of lack of flexibility from these group of individuals.
Some of the typical household bathroom hazards include;
- Slippery surfaces (floor, tubs, walls)
- Soapy water making surfaces more slippery
- Weak towel racks
- Lacking grab bars at familiar places
- Low-laid toilet seats
- Shower chairs lacking slip-resistant grips
- Lack of proper lighting
Here is how you can prevent these potential risks and making bathing time more secure;
Make Those Grab Bars Your Priority
When constructing/reconstructing your bathroom, keep in mind the needs of the seniors, toddlers and handicapped.
For instance, those with balance issues would probably require a place to hold onto as they make their way around.
Why not make it easier by constructing sizeable visible slip free grab bars along common areas such as bathtubs and toilet area.
Using a wall as a source of support on its own isn’t safe enough as one can easily slip and fall.
You don’t want that, right?
The good news is that most grab bars aren’t expensive hence make significant investments.
Ensure the lighting is bright enough
Remember individuals with special needs see things a bit differently.
Hence, as much as you are dying to install those dull trendy bathroom lights, you should consider the fact that they might not work for other bathroom users.
Seniors and persons struggling with sight issues might find it problematic to locate specific items in the bath area if the place isn’t well illuminated.
If this happens to be the case, then you risk high cases of injuries in your household, something that you can easily prevent through a combination of natural and clear artificial lighting.
In this case, make sure there is sufficient lighting on the pathways as well as the shower for better visibility.
Get a stable shower chair
Therefore, to ensure that they enjoy their bathing experience, be sure to order a well-balancing shower chair to give them the stability they require and also give them a sense of relaxation in the process.
A good chair should at least come with an excellent non-slip grip on the legs to ensure it stays in place all the time.
However, the choice of the chair you select would entirely depend on the needs of the person you have in mind.
From simple stools to outstretched bathtub aids, the decision is all yours.
A Walk-in Tub Makes an Excellent Investment
Although this might seem weird in the beginning, there is no denying that walk-in tubs make great options for seniors and the disabled.
Through this, they won’t have to struggle to get in and out, hence much safer and convenient for everyday use especially for individuals on medications or those who underwent recent surgical procedures.
Investing in one of this will also help the individuals become more independent, hence happy.
Those Non-Slip Mats Would Come In Handy
One of the common reasons for bathroom falls is the slippery floor.
Therefore there is need to invest in those non-slip mats not only for the seniors and handicapped in your household, but also for every bathroom user’s safety.
Common places to place such kinds of rugs include the bathtub, shower area, sink, and toilet.
Consequently, ensure to have one inside the tub and the shower to provide safe movements.
Also, be sure to randomly place non-slip mats in other random places to prevent falls.
They could even come out to complement the décor while fulfilling their purpose.
The good thing about this investment is that it’s safe and cheaper.
So you don’t have to worry about spending too much.
Make sure the toiletries are within reach
Once again we would like to insist that what might seem easy for you, might be more complicated to seniors in the house.
Therefore, whenever constructing a storage area for all bathroom essentials, ensure that everyone else can reach out to them with struggling.
For instance, if a senior or a disabled individual is trying to take a shower and then overstretch to get to the toiletries, chances of slipping and falling are higher.
They could even suffer muscle ramps, something you would want to avoid at all costs.
Therefore, the best way to address this issue is to have everything they need within reach by investing in a quality shower caddy within an arm’s distance.
Here you will ensure everything you would require is in place before they get into the bathroom.
A solid wall mounted shower caddy can also double as a grab bar in emergency situations, while still balancing everything in place.
Another way to make shower time easier s by investing in liquid dispensers for shower essentials such as gels and shampoo.
Through this, you wouldn’t have to deal with slippery bottles.
Raise that Toilet Seat
While you might easily slip into a toilet seat when younger and healthy, it’s quite the opposite for seniors.
Most of the time, when you are a senior, you find it frustrating to adequately lower yourself unto the toilet seat, something that could turn the whole experience stressful.
Thus, there is need to install a raised toilet seat, which could ensure everyone is comfortable whenever they use the toilet.
While at it, ensure to fix some grab bars on either side of the toilet to provide you help yourself off the seat with much ease.
The seats are readily available on online stores at affordable prices and are quite simple to install, so you don’t have to get worked-up on the whole procedure.
Make Those Essential Door Changes
As much as you might have all the above-stated bath aids in place, there is usually one area that most people tend to overlook and that’s the doors.
The doors to various parts of your bathroom play a vital role in ensuring the safety of disabled and senior users.
For instance, outwards swinging doors make excellent options as compared to inward swinging ones as they are easily accessible in case of emergencies.
Make use of Bath Lifts
If you don’t have a walk-in bathtub, then you can still enjoy your traditional bath with the aid of a bath lift.
Through this, you can safely get in and out of the tub with the risk of accidental falls, thus preventing injuries.
They also prevent you from slipping and are affordable and readily available at various stores.
Essential Tips for Safely Bathing the Elderly
Now that you have secured your bathroom there are times when you will have to help out senior members of your family to take a bath, especially when they are sick or just too tired to do it by themselves.
But then how do you go about it while ensuring they remain comfortable and enjoy the whole experience?
Here are some tips that could correctly get you through the process;
Make use of a sponge.
When bathing an elderly individual, it’s essential to ensure they are comfortable, above everything else.
Therefore, assemble everything you would need within reach and provide warm water is all set, soap of their favorite fragrance and a heated towel or blanket.
Remember the elderly’s body is more like those of a small baby; quite vulnerable to cold and infections, so you ought to have everything right.
Ensure the place is warm before helping them to undress.
Afterward, you can weigh out as to whether to bath them in sections as you cover them up or at once and in a faster manner.
If they would like a long warm bath, then you might want to consider having them sit in a warm tub full of water, such that the water covers them to the neck to avoid getting cold.
A sponge comes in handy as it is soft and retains more soap for a long, fulfilling scrub.
The choice as to whether to use disposable gloves remains yours solely, depending on how comfortable the whole exercise is to you.
Use a walk-in tub
As we mentioned early, it’s much easier to use a walk-in tub as opposed to the traditional bathtub as you can quickly help the elderly in and out of the tub, with much ease.
The idea is even more applicable if the person is sick or having leg muscles flexibility issues.
However, ensure the tub installation is perfect with the help of a professional, with enough protection from wall damages.
Make use of quality shower transfer benches
Having shower transfer benches makes it simple for you to help the older adult in and out of the traditional bathtub.
Through the use of this, you can efficiently assist then swing around and get the showering session on without a hitch.
Be however sure to have them sit at the center of the bench to achieve balance and avoid accidents.
The good thing is that they are comfortable enough and feel no different from regular chairs.
Showering Accessory Tips for the Handicapped
It’s the right of everyone to experience an enjoyable showering experience.
So if you are looking out for some handicap bathroom accessories to enrich your life, you can never go wrong with these
Toilet Safety Rails
For the best toilet safety rails, ensure to get ones that you can quickly adjust and rotate to suit your everyday needs.
Most importantly. Ensure that the armrests are tender and provide a secure grip, such that you are safe and comfortable at the same time.
As for the rest of the surface, settle for one that’s easy to clean and maintain the sparkle.
Bathtub Safety Grab Bar
Get one that you can efficiently use in most bathtubs as this will save you on costs.
Also, it should be easy to install and remove and has a reputable locking mechanism.
Since it will get wet, ensure to get one that’s rust-resistant such as stainless steel complete with a set of rubber pads.
It wouldn’t look pretty with scratch marks all over, right?
Shower and Bath Seats.
When it comes to handicap needs, you require so many considerations.
For instance, the chair should be light enough and very adjustable concerning the height such that it perfectly suits everybody’s needs.
Ensure it has anti-slip rubber feet in place for total security.
The good thing about hand showers such as the adjustable hand shower and the handheld shower is the flexibility they offer to their users.
For instance, they are easy to install and come with features that serve you according to your daily needs.
So in this case, you can get the water to the right places and adjust accordingly.
It’s even better because the handheld shower heads give the best showering experiences for the handicap.
Bath step and Toilet Seat
If you must get a bath step, then ensure it comes with a slip-proof surface, rubber feet, and a handrail to help you achieve perfect balance.
As for the toilet seat, you can decide to raise yours and have another one placed on top.
However, ensure it’s easy to clean and fits in perfectly for your comfort.
There you have it! If you are planning to remodel or construct your bathroom to accommodate the needs of the handicap and seniors in your family/workplace, then the above tips give you a solid ground as to where to begin.
The primary focus should, however, be to maintain the relaxing, and secure nature bathrooms should always portray.