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.
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