Bathroom Accessory Options- Aging In Place
For the elderly, using the bathroom safely and effectively poses a challenge. Most of the accidents happen in bathrooms. That might not come as a surprise. A little water can make the floor slippery and someone can end up getting hurt pretty bad. Add in soap and shampoo which can cling to the floor to make things worse. These dangers are multiplied when we look at the decreased mobility, balance, agility, eyesight and movement of the elderly.
These are the obvious things. Even simple fixtures and faucets can become tiresome to use and painful for arthritic hands. Standing too long in the shower is not an option. Neither is getting out and in of a bathtub possible. So, how can you ensure that your bathroom has adequate accessories for the elderly to age in peace?
Thankfully, a lot of progress has been made in coming up with senior-friendly bathrooms. You don’t always have to remodel the bathroom entirely. Simple steps like getting anti-slip mats or tiles, grabbing bars, walk-in showers; sprayer attachments etc. can do the trick. With these simple changes, the elderly can feel more independent and the caregiver can take a break also.
7 Bathroom Accessory Options for the Elderly to Age in Place
- Install Grab Bars
These are excellent for ensuring the elderly can sit and get up with ease. Install grab bars wherever you feel the need. It is essential to place them near the bathtub or shower, the flush and even the sink. If you have elderly that have very little mobility, you can install more grab bars in the bathroom to make their walk to the flush and bath easier.
- Shower Chairs
Standing in the shower for long periods can become tiresome. Installing a shower chair will give them a break from standing. Just keep in mind to get chairs with rubber leg tips to avoid slipping. You can either go for a permanent shower chair or you can get a foldable one.
- Lever Faucets
Say goodbye to the twisting and turning of the knobs. Installing lever faucets makes bath time easier. Not only are they convenient, but they also look chic. The options are many. You can go for simple ones, foot-operated ones and others.
- Anti-Skid Mats
Placing a mat near the bath place is always a good idea. Anyone can slip, but the elderly have a greater tendency to do so because of reduced reaction time. If you buy just any rug or math bath, it might move around when you step foot on it. That can be dangerous and lead to an accident.
You can find special mats that are non-skid. These are thinner and smaller than the normal ones. They don’t skid and stay in place, thus, providing you with better footing. Do add non-skid mats in the bathroom.
- Adding Shower Mats
A very affordable option is to add shower mats in the tub. Go for the simple ones. Once installed, they add traction wherever needed. This greatly reduces the risk of falling or slipping in the tub or shower. Just be sure to place the mat exactly where the elderly will be taking a bath. Otherwise, it is going to be of no use. It is not a very glamorous addition but looks at the bright side; no one can see it until they enter the bathing area.
Designing tip: Add grab bars, an anti-slip rug and shower mats to give excellent security and protection to the elderly.
- Raise the Toilet Seat
Raising the toilet seat a little can make a big difference. A 3-inch rise in height can goa long way. There are two options to choose from. Comfort Height toilets are available in the market. If you don’t want to go for a replacement, you can use toilet seats to increase the height. These seats can give you an increased height of 2-3 inches.
- Walk-in Showers
Lifting their legs to get in the shower or bathtub can be almost impossible for the elderly. In this case, a walk-in shower can be a lifesaver for them. Even for people in wheelchairs, it can be easy to operate. They can bathe while sitting in a wheelchair without making any maneuvers.
Can You Install the Bathroom Accessory Options for the Elderly to Age in Place Yourself?
There are some simple additions to this list that can be done personally. Adding bathroom rugs, shower mats and even extended shower heads can be easily done. Other things like installing lever faucets, raising toilet seats or things that require a changing in the plumbing should be done by the experts. If you are not confident about making these changes yourself, it is advisable to call in professionals.
You don't need to spend an arm and a leg making your bathroom safe, secure and comfortable for the elderly. As this article shows, a few simple additions here and there can do the trick beautifully.