As our loved ones age, it’s natural for us to become concerned about their safety. Just as they worried for us when we were children, we begin to worry for them as their mobility and independence begin to decline. If you have an elderly loved one whose safety you’re concerned for, there are many ways that you can adapt their home to be safer and more accessible for them. This article will focus on one area that’s particularly dangerous to many senior citizens: the bathroom. Keep reading to learn how to create a safe, accessible shower-tub combo for your senior loved one.
Standard shower stalls typically have a relatively low entrance that isn’t too difficult for those with reduced mobility to navigate. Bathtubs and shower-tub combos, on the other hand, are a different story; they have very high walls that can be a major obstacle for senior citizens. To ensure that your loved one is safe while showering and bathing, make sure that their shower-tub combo has a low, step-in entrance that they can manage on their own.
Shower Chair or Bench
Both tubs and showers present problems to those with reduced mobility. While tubs require you to sit in an extremely low position that’s difficult to get in and out of, showers require you to stand the entire time. If your loved one struggles with either of these things, you need to ensure their shower-tub combo has a shower chair or bathing bench in it. This makes it possible for them to sit comfortably (and safely) while washing.
Clutter might just be a nuisance to you, but for those with reduced mobility, it can be a serious hazard. A small stumble over a stray bottle of shampoo in the shower can result in devastating injuries. Make sure the tub and/or shower is tidy and organized, so such accidents don’t occur.
You know your loved one often needs a helping hand for getting around, but they probably don’t want you holding their hand in the shower or bath. They value their privacy just as much as you do your own. By installing a few grab bars in and near the shower-tub fixture, you can give them the support they need as they get in, wash, and get back out again without taking away any of their independence.
Most of us don’t have an issue standing under the overhead showerhead to wash our hair. But, as mentioned, standing for a prolonged period of time can be difficult; on top of that, the seemingly simple movement of tipping your head back and closing your eyes to rinse out your hair under the water actually requires a lot more balance than you might realize. A lot of seniors don’t have that kind of balance. A handheld showerhead allows them to more safely and easily wash their hair while continuing to use the aforementioned shower chair or bench.
If you’re worried about your loved one’s safety while bathing, a walk-in shower-tub combo will have all the above features to ensure that they can bathe safely and independently. Contact us to learn more.