Seniors that are aging in place need to be aware that some of the activities of daily living like showering, brushing their teeth, and shaving can become more difficult as they get older. Especially if they have mobility challenges or physical challenges like poor balance or low vision.
Personal care at home is something that is strongly recommended for seniors aging in place. With personal care at home seniors have reliable and compassionate help with activities of daily living. But it’s also important for seniors to make some safety upgrades and changes to their bathroom to lower the risk of falls and make the bathroom more accessible. The most recommended bathroom safety upgrades for seniors are:
Install sturdy grab bars near the toilet, shower, and bathtub. These provide essential support for sitting down, standing up, and maintaining balance. Grab bars should be securely anchored to the wall and capable of supporting the person’s weight. They’re easy to install and can make a big difference helping seniors live independently and safely.
Walk-in or Roll-in Shower
Replace traditional tubs with curbless, walk-in showers or roll-in showers for wheelchair accessibility. These eliminate the need to step over a high bathtub wall, reducing the risk of slips and falls.
Shower Bench or Seat
Install a shower bench or built-in seat in the shower for seniors to sit while bathing. This is especially helpful for those with mobility issues or fatigue.
Install a handheld showerhead with an adjustable height to make it easier for seniors to wash themselves while sitting or standing. This allows for better control and reduces strain.
Use non-slip flooring materials like textured tiles, non-slip vinyl, or cork to prevent slipping, even when the bathroom is wet.
Replace standard-height toilets with comfort-height models that are slightly taller. This makes sitting down and getting up more manageable for seniors.If a comfort-height toilet is not an option, consider installing a raised toilet seat. This provides extra height, making it easier to sit down and stand up.
Replace traditional faucets with lever-style faucets that are easier to operate for those with limited hand strength or dexterity. Touchless faucets are also a good option for seniors.
Use a wall-mounted or open vanity design to accommodate wheelchairs and provide easier access to the sink. Install lever-style handles on cabinets. Make sure there is a comfortable vanity chair at an accessible height where seniors can sit to brush their hair or do makeup.
Position mirrors at an appropriate height for seated and standing users. Tilted mirrors can be particularly helpful.
Install anti-scald devices on faucets and showerheads to prevent sudden temperature fluctuations that could lead to burns.
Ensure that the bathroom is well-lit, with bright, even lighting. Add motion-activated nightlights to improve visibility at night.
Lower shelves and storage units to make items more accessible. Consider pull-out or pull-down shelves in cabinets to minimize the need for bending or reaching.
Use color contrast between walls, fixtures, and accessories to improve visibility and help seniors distinguish objects more easily.
Emergency Pull Cord or Call Button
Install an emergency pull cord or call button within reach in case of accidents or falls. This can be connected to a monitoring system for immediate assistance.
Installing a heat lamp can help seniors avoid getting chilled when they get out of the bath or the shower. Seniors who live in cold climates can really benefit from having a heat lamp in their bathrooms.
If you or someone you know needs help with personal care at home in Cascade, MI, contact Gauthier Family Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services in our community. Call us at (616) 258-2300 for more information.
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