As we age, our agility and balance aren't as good as they once were. The bathroom can be a very dangerous place for seniors, especially those who are physically disabled, have balance issues, or other conditions that increase the risk of a fall. Getting in and out of the tub, even sitting down to use the toilet can be a chore. As a caregiver, what can you do to ensure the bathroom is a safer place for an aging loved one?
Consider a raised toilet seat and grab bars. It can be extremely difficult for seniors who often lack leg strength to sit down on the average height toilet - not to mention getting back up. It's comparable to a younger adult performing squats - not safe for seniors! Consider raising the toilet seat 3 to 4 inches, and install wall- or toilet-attached grab bars to make going to the bathroom safer for an elderly loved one.
Commode chairs are a good choice for those who are handicapped and cannot make the distance to the bathroom. A chair with a toilet chamber that's built in, these commode chairs can be placed at the bedside or anywhere that's convenient for seniors who have balance/strength issues, incontinence, or other problems. You can find them with or without wheels, however those without wheels provide more stability and safety.
As far as the bathtub/shower goes, be sure to place a slip-resistant mat in the tub and install grab bars. You may also want to place a shower chair in the tub for additional safety, or have a walk-in tub installed so that your aging loved one doesn't have to climb over the edge of a traditional tub. Be sure soap, shampoo, towels, washcloths, and other necessities are within easy reach.
These are just a few tips to help make the bathroom a safer place for seniors.
At Care Indeed, our Palo Alto senior care experts provide a wide array of services and help seniors with housekeeping, meals, hygiene, medications, and much more. Learn more about our in-home caregiver services by browsing our website.
Home care is derived from the belief that older adults should be able to age at home with the level of care they need to be safe and comfortable.