Donna was worried about her aging mother’s ability to navigate the bathroom alone when showering or attending to grooming and hygiene. In recent years, her mother’s physical health had declined, resulting in bad balance and weak muscles. Combining that with lots of physical effort, slippery floors, and more, Donna felt that the bathroom was growing somewhat inhospitable for her elderly mom to tackle on her own.
Age-related conditions, illness and injuries often mean that aging adults need help from family caregivers and elderly care providers to complete some of the basic tasks they’ve done for themselves for decades. This is often true with daily duties related to cleanliness, hygiene, bathing, dressing and grooming. Because the bathroom can be the most dangerous room in the home to an aging adult, family caregivers must take steps to ensure safety.
Many aging adults are unable to take care of themselves in a way that is clean, safe or comfortable. This means they rely on their family caregivers and elderly care providers more and more. Elderly care providers often help with dressing, grooming, meal preparation, light housekeeping, companionship and more. Seniors can age in place at home when family caregivers and elderly care providers are on hand to assist with daily life. Bathroom help is no exception.
If an elderly adult suffers a slip and fall accident in the bathroom, they can break a bone, get a concussion or otherwise injure themselves. Serious injuries can take months to recover from and may further jeopardize the future health of aging adults. The modifications to make to a bathroom range from inexpensive to a total remodel, so family caregivers can make choices that fit their loved one’s needs and budget.
Here are some tips on how to make the bathroom less dangerous for seniors:
- Install sturdy handle bars in the shower area as well as near the toilet.
- Get rid of slippery baht rugs and throw rugs and put own no-slip ones.
- Ensure the bathroom lights are all working and there are bulbs in every outlet.
- Put in a raised toilet seat for ease in getting up and down.
- Find a sturdy shower chair or tub chair.
- Replace traditional showerhead with handheld one.
- Consider installing a walk-in tub, replacing the existing tub or shower.
Family caregivers and elderly care providers may have some other unique modifications that may positively affect an elderly person’s ability to use the bathroom safely. For example, if the elderly adult has severe arthritis, family caregivers could replace knob faucets at the sink with a simple lever faucet.
It’s never too late for family caregivers to focus on making the bathroom as safe as possible for elderly loved ones. Everyone wants to feel safe in their own home, so placing an emphasis on bathroom safety is an excellent way to ensure elderly adults can thrive at home as they age.