The greatest risk to most independent seniors is falling – the leading cause of hospitalisation for adults over 65 is for injuries resulting from a fall. And most of these falls occur at home, specifically, in the bathroom.
Injuries resulting from falls often lead to mobility issues, such as requiring a walking aid and reducing independence, so naturally, it is best to prevent a fall by introducing safety renovations to the bathroom before that happens. While it may seem unnecessary at the moment, it is our opinion that it is always far better to take care of these things well in advance.
Here’s what a fall-safe bathroom should include:
- Install bright lights, preferably also in the hallway between the bedroom and bathroom. Motion-sensor lights sometimes work great (as long as you don’t have a cat!).
- Handrails beside the toilet (on both sides, if possible) and in the shower.
- Non-slip rubber mats in the shower and on the floor outside of it.
- Consider installing a walk-in shower, or a tub with a walk-in door.
- A handheld shower wand combined with a shower seat.
- A higher toilet seat that is much easier to get on/off of.
Some bathroom renovations, such as accessible showers, can be expensive, but others are simply accessories that can be added to the current bathroom. If your senior loved one plans to stay at home as they enter old age, consider the advantages of starting renovations before it’s necessary, and best of all preventing falls where you can.