If you are the adult child of a senior who lives alone, safety is probably an on-going concern. For older adults, the bathroom can be especially dangerous. More accidents take place in the bathroom than any other room in a senior’s home.
From slippery flooring to poor lighting, it’s important to learn how to create a safer bathroom for a senior you love.
5 Tips for a Senior-Friendly Bathroom
Here’s what adult children and family caregivers can do to create a senior-friendly bathroom:
- Raised Toilet Seat: 85% of injuries in adults age 85 and older happen near the toilet. Make this area safer by taking down towel bars your loved one might be using to pull themselves up and around. Towel bars aren’t designed to support this type of pressure and may come loose causing your loved one to fall. Replace them with sturdy grab bars on both sides of the toilet. It also helps to install a raised toilet seat so the older adult is less likely to lose their balance transferring on to and off of the toilet.
- Install Good Lighting: Another safety feature you can easily add to your senior loved one’s bathroom is improved lighting. Good lighting helps older adults better distinguish objects around them. This helps the older adult avoid running in to things or tripping over objects.
- Step-free Shower: Seniors are also at higher risk for a fall when they are climbing in to and out of the bathtub. Even stepping over the side of it to take a shower can be dangerous. Have their current bathroom modified to create a step-free shower with grab bars on both sides. Purchasing a sturdy tub chair from a medical supply company can also help keep your loved one safer.
- Easy to Reach Supplies: Work with your senior loved one to store the supplies they use most often in easy-to-access locations. Try to avoid storing items in spots that require them to climb up on a step stool or get down on the floor to reach them. For people with strength or balance problems, these are activities that can increase the odds for a fall.
Our final suggestion is to purchase a medical alert pendant or bracelet your family member. While they aren’t always popular with seniors, they can be life-saving. And many newer models are smaller and less obvious than older ones.
Consider a Michigan Senior Living Community
If you are concerned that a Michigan senior you love is at risk for a fall, a senior living community might be an ideal solution. Heritage Seniors Communities are designed to help older adults stay active and healthy. We invite you to call the community nearest you to schedule a private tour.