The bathroom is rife with hazards, ranging from water on the floor to stepping over ledges. The number of hazards along with the fact that our loved ones grow weaker as they grow older makes the bathroom one of the most dangerous rooms in the house for falls. As a caregiver, here are some things which you can do to prevent falls in the bathroom.
Click image to see enlarged infographic provided by Medical Care Alert
Change the Lighting
The easiest and least demanding thing which you can do is change the lighting in the bathroom. Most fixtures in bathrooms have the capability to hold several light bulbs, but many people use only one bulb socket. By shedding some light on the situation, you make it easier for older eyes to see what is around.
Install non-slip mats
By installing non-slip mats in the bathroom, the chances of falling become significantly lower. Our loved ones can get tangled up in the edge of the carpet where their feet can trip them up and they can land on the hard floor. Securing mats makes it easier for our loved ones to navigate.
Raise the toilet seat
By raising the toilet seat, there is less effort needed to lift yourself off after using the toilet. This can greatly help people who cannot lift themselves up easily or lack a grab bar near the toilet. Seat heights can be raised to variable levels.
Use a shower chair
Elderly people fall in the bath or shower more than in any other place in the bathroom. By placing a shower chair in the bathtub, the risks of falling are significantly minimized. Add to that a removable shower sprayer and your loved one can minimize their movement in such a high-risk area.
Install a second medical alert station
By putting a two-way medical alert pendant in the bathroom, you are providing that extra layer of safety. It’s recommended that you keep a pendant in the bathroom at all times, just in case. Having that system in place can make people feel just a bit more confident.
Use contrast in the room
For the creative ones out there who want to implement more safe measures for the bathroom, add some contrast in the colors of the room. In many bathrooms, the entirety of the décor looks the same, but if you incorporate different colors and contrasts, it enables someone who’s having difficulty seeing to see where the floor and various ledges are.
Fall prevention is up to all of us, including the people who are likely to fall. By making a few easy design improvements, the bathroom can become a safer place. For more ideas about bathroom safety, take a look at this infographic.
Charlie Kimball, works for MedicalCareAlert.com, a Michigan-based company providing home care monitoring for family members who choose to stay at home despite medical challenges. Charlie is a graduate of Wayne State University in Detroit. She blogs for her company.