Many seniors deal with varying degrees of mobility limitations. Fortunately, there are several ways to increase bathroom accessibility. Grab bars, textured flooring, and walk-in tubs are among the many solutions out there to make the bathroom less risky. The right improvements can greatly enhance safety for seniors choosing to age in place. However, making the bathroom more secure takes additional steps. While installing proper equipment and fixtures may be helpful, there are also some habits and behaviors that seniors can implement to increase their level of safety in the bathroom, dramatically reducing risks. Keep reading to learn all about the top bathroom safety tips for seniors from Safe Step Walk-In Tub.
Get a Bath or Shower Chair
Moving around in the tight quarters of a typical shower or bathtub can be challenging even for those who don’t live with mobility impairment, and for seniors, it can be downright dangerous. Not to mention, the constant presence of moisture can set the stage for accidents. One of the best means of protection is using a bath or shower chair. A chair makes standing to bathe or shower unnecessary, which greatly reduces the risks of slipping, falling, and losing balance.
Always Check Water Temperature
For many seniors, dangers in the bathroom extend beyond slips and falls. There’s also a considerable threat of burns from excessively hot water. Those with mobility impairment may be unable to quickly maneuver away from hot water that is too hot, resulting in a potentially severe burn. Therefore, it’s a good idea to always check the water temperature before entering the shower or tub. Doing so only takes a minute and can prevent dangerous burns along with the pain that comes with them.
Use a Transfer Bench
Those who have never dealt with limited mobility may not be familiar with a device known as a transfer bench. However, it can make navigating the bathroom safer and more convenient for people who have a hard time overcoming typical bathroom obstacles. A transfer bench is simply a flat board or bench that allows safe tub entry and exit for those who can’t easily lift their legs over a tub’s side. The bench is placed between the user’s wheelchair and a bath chair in the tub. Then, the user can safely slide across the gap between the two seats.
Remove Rugs and Bath Mats
Many people keep bath mats and rugs in the bathroom for decorative and practical purposes. While they’re not usually a problem for ambulatory people, they can be dangerous for some seniors. Rugs can slip from beneath a senior, causing a hard fall. They can also pose a tripping hazard for those who move by shuffling their feet rather than lifting them. In some cases, it’s better to remove throw rugs and bath mats from the bathroom to remove the risk altogether.
If you or a loved one lives with limited mobility, be sure to use these tips and make the bathroom a safe place for seniors. By removing tripping hazards, developing safe behaviors, and getting the proper equipment, the bathroom can once again serve as a place for relaxation rather than danger and stress. To learn more tips on making the bathroom a safer place, contact Safe Step Walk-In Tub at (800) 346-6616.