It’s difficult to believe, but the bathroom is one of the most dangerous rooms in the house - particularly for the elderly or less mobile. Without good management for those who’re living independently, bathing and toileting is one of the riskier activities in the day.
Read on for our tips on keeping your bathroom safe for peace of mind for you or your elderly relative.
What makes the bathroom dangerous?
Bathrooms are often small, awkward spaces with limited room to move around. For older adults or individuals with limited mobility, or those who use a mobility aid, the bathroom can be a tricky place to manoeuvre.
Stepping in and out of the bath or shower, using the toilet, turning on taps or simply negotiating the doorway - all of these can prove difficult and can create some unexpected dangers. Water can also make bathroom surfaces quite slippery, increasing the risk of slipping, falling and serious injury.
Thankfully, it’s very easy to make a few small changes that will not only minimise the risk of injury but will make bathing and toileting much easier, allowing the elderly person to remain independent for much longer.
Safe Bathing Tips
- Ensure the bathroom is clear of any trip hazards like bath mats, toilet roll holders, tubs/baskets and free-standing shelving units.
- Keep lighting in good condition both inside the bathroom and to light the way safely from other rooms in the house.
- Consider how easy it is to hold and grab a secure fixture if a fall was to happen. Install grab bars in appropriate places around the bathroom.
- Replace shower curtains and rails with fixed glass shower doors or panels. In the event of a stumble or fall, it could be very dangerous to grab a loose shower curtain on an unsteady rail.
- Inside the shower it might be safer for the user to be seated. A shower seat fitted to the wall is one of the best options - it’s compact, folds away when not in use and is securely fixed to avoid wobbles or movement. Alternatively, you could use a simple shower stool with a rotating seat to allow easy access to reach shampoo, shower head and shower controls.
- A shower suction grab bar will offer a secure handle to help with standing or lowering on to the shower stool.
- For those who use a mobility aid you might consider a mobile shower chair which allows the user to be wheeled into the shower space while seated.
- For easy access to the bath a bath rail will give confidence and stability when getting in and out of the tub for the more mobile.
- If extra support is needed for bathing, then a battery operated bath lift seat will manoeuvre the bather in and out of the bath safely and with absolute comfort and confidence.
- Simple accessories like a set of bath tap turners can make it safer and easier to use the bath and sink taps, avoiding any stiff taps or over flowing of water.
- If the user has difficulty sitting and rising from the toilet seat they might need a toilet safety aid. Something simple like a padded toilet seat which raises the height of the toilet could help.
- For greater support with toileting a full toilet frame will provide stability and support while sitting and rising from the toilet. It can also be fixed to the floor for greater stability.
- A fold away drop down toilet rail fitted to the wall beside the toilet is a very useful bathroom aid providing support while using the toilet and other areas within the bathroom as well.
Need more help to improve your health? We're always here to help so get in touch today.
For all your Medical and Homecare supplies give us a call at Mediworld.
We have over 40 years experience in medical, surgical, mobility and home health supplies and we're always on hand to chat if you need support or advice. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and don't forget to read our other great health blogs!