A senior who has decided to live alone in their home is at a high risk of injury. According to the National Institute of Aging, one in three older adults (65 years old and above) suffer from falls every year.
To ensure that your aging loved ones are safe, you can make modifications in their living space that can reduce the likelihood of an accident. However, the bathroom, in particular, should be a priority. About 235,000 patients around the United States are rushed to the emergency room every year after sustaining an injury in the bathroom.
Here are some makeover ideas that can prevent falls in the bathroom:
Change the Shower/Tub
Bathing is pretty much a normal daily activity for everyone, but it can be dangerous for seniors. Water, if spilled onto the floor, can cause your loved one to slip and fall.
Thankfully, there are shower features and tubs that are particularly made to keep those who are fragile safe. There are tubs for the elderly that are designed with a walk-in entrance so they no longer have to make an effort to get in and out. It is perfect for a senior who is already experiencing mobility issues due to illness, old age, or medication.
As for the shower, installing rails on the surrounding walls and a bench. The loss of balance is a condition that many seniors experience and these additions can help them support themselves up at all times.
Raise the Toilet
A regular toilet may no longer be suitable for them to use. As part of your home makeover, make sure to inspect the height of the toilet. It should not be too low so that a senior does not have to make an effort to either lower themself or stand before and after use. It should be around the height of a normal chair to prevent straining and, therefore, injuries.
Add Bright Lights
A common cause of falls among seniors is bad eyesight. To remedy the problem, you have to change old light fixtures in their bathrooms to something that is a little brighter to eliminate shadows. This can stop them from accidentally bumping onto surfaces and sustaining bruises or cuts.
Use Non-Slip Mats
People use their bathrooms multiple times throughout the day. The activities we do in the bathroom, from bathing to brushing our teeth, involve water which causes the floor to become slippery.
You can get non-slip bath mats that you can place in areas where water can spill such as under the sink and around the shower or tub. If you have the budget, you can change the flooring material in the entire bathroom. Experts recommend avoiding ceramic or porcelain tiles.
Bring Down Cabinets
A cabinet over the sink is no longer advisable for seniors living alone at home. Tall cabinets are not accessible for people who are grappling with issues with mobility. If your loved one needs to get something, they have to reach up which can cause an injury. Lower cabinets at a comfortable height. However, do not install cabinets below the sink either. If they have to hunch to reach it, it can cause an injury.
Talk to your senior family members about their experience in the house. Make your adjustments based on their specific needs.