We all spend a lot of time inside the bathroom, much more than what we initially imagine. As we get older, even a simple task becomes a true safety hazard. The good news is that your bathroom does not have to become a hazardous, stressful place as you get older. Comfort and safety are vital considerations when you remodel or you design a bathroom. Senior living is a science and you can find out more about it from experienced architects. However, what is particularly important is to perform the following tasks to improve senior living conditions.
Address All Slip Hazards
Bathrooms are normally very slippery. However, this should not remain like this when there are seniors using the room. Seriously consider using anti-skid floor tiling. If this is not possible, the anti-slip coating can be applied to the tiles that already exist. Such an option is also great for the shower and the tub as slips are a frequent occurrence.
Look for some non-slip bathmats and rugs. They are great at keeping the wet areas stable and absorbing moisture. However, always fasten down mats with quality rug tape so that they are secured. This can easily be purchased from stores or even from the internet. When you buy from an online store, be sure to read reviews first though since some of the non-slip items are not very durable.
Consider Installing Grab Bars
When you place grab bars around your bathroom, there is sturdy support gained while you adjust and you move around. Just consider those that are installed around your sink, around the shower, inside the shower and on each side of your toilet.
Remember that grab bars need not be sterile and cold. You can choose out of so many veneered or colored options so that bathroom décor perfectly fits. Consider the texture handles first because they offer extra gripping. Also, make sure that they are installed at an appropriate height or they will become useless pretty fast.
Re-Think Shower Design
The conventional shower is always a nuisance for senior people or handicapped individuals. Based on your aspirations, you can consider wheel-in or walk-in shower design that has an entrance without a curb. This also works for the tubs and can reduce the risk of having to deal with falls or slips. Also, remember the non-slip coating.
Besides the grab bars, installing a shower seat is a really good idea since they help wash in a sitting position. You can install these separately or have them built-in. Make sure that the showerhead is detachable. This is a very cheap solution that can be separately installed. Similarly, to the grab bar, you have to be sure that the shower seat is suitable for the senior in terms of dimensions.
Basic Safety Measures
Besides replacing existing designs or remodeling, you should think about the basic precautions. For instance, you can have your phone mounted on a wall in a secure way. This is perfect for the seniors that live without the presence of a personal assistant. In addition, the door of the bathroom should be very easy to open from both sides.
Do not forget about the proper lighting. Your bulbs have to be functional and efficient. A nightlight should also be kept so that midnight visits are more secure. Whenever possible, consider installing lights that can be activated through a smartphone app or a vocal command. With the use of systems like Alexa, this is easier now than it ever was and highly affordable.
There are so many different items that are often used in bathrooms and we tend to keep piling them up. Unfortunately, most bathrooms, especially the small ones, do not have enough counters and shelves. Even if they do, they are filled with medicine, toothpaste, lotions and shower gels, among others.
An elderly individual need to bend over whenever reaching for an object. This is not always easy to do. The senior that has mobility loss and stiffness in his/her joints can have balance problems. Due to this, even very simple moves can become a safety peril that would lead to injury.
In order to make the bathroom a safer place, you need to declutter and then reorganize everything in the room. Remove all products that were never utilized, together with unused and dirty rugs. In the event that there are rugs present, make sure they are slip-resistant.
Store Everything Within Reach
As the senior is in a bathroom, he/she needs to be able to easily access toiletry items. You have to remove all situations in which bending or stretching is necessary. This is so easy to do when products are within very easy reach.
A way to do this is to install shower caddies. The very best ones are those that are easy to be mounted on walls with the use of suction cups. They will never fall off. You can also incorporate dispensers on shower walls. As a result, you do not worry about the bar soaps and shower gel bottles that might slip. At the same time, dispensers are very easy to be refilled, even by seniors.
We need to understand the fact that traditional bathrooms are very difficult to deal with for senior citizens. Fortunately, you can take many different steps in order to prepare the bathroom in an adequate way before safety becomes a true problem. You can easily consider all the options above and become creative since numerous other things can actually be done. Always use the solutions that match the personal needs you have. What works great for someone is not necessarily the best solution for you.
As always, common sense can easily help you to prevail. You do not want to be faced with the hassle of dealing with a salesman that tries to push different security measures on you, without actually needing them. Conduct your own research and choose what is suitable for you. Pay close attention to the reviews that are written by people that actually used the products so you can be sure you get accurate information.