Here at Choice Mobility, we’re not just about mobility aids to help people when they’re out of the house. We’re also here to help people when they’re in their home, including lift chair recliners and ramps that allow wheelchairs to move throughout the house.
While we love helping people keep their independence around the home, there is one place that causes the elderly to have more accidents than any other: the bathroom. Why is it such a dangerous space? Let’s take a look at how our home care products can help an older person improve bathroom safety.
Bathrooms are the area of a home that are most likely to have water on the floors. While the kitchen has a single sink dispensing water, bathrooms have three water-providing devices that can make the floor slick: the sink, the shower/tub, and the toilet. That’s three times the amount of fixtures that can leak or spray.
Good thing there are bath mats, right? Well...
Bath mats and toilet rugs can go a long way to absorbing excess water that falls on the floor. Unfortunately, they can cause problems themselves by becoming tripping hazards. People with low energy tend to shuffle their feet more, meaning that the toes don’t rise above the mat. When that happens, the mat often folds over on top of itself, causing an even greater tripping hazard. And what happens when they try to fix it on their own? They either put themselves on one foot and try to kick it back, or they bend over and risk tumbling. Grab handles near the toilet or shower can help
Our suggestion? Make sure that the bath mats are thin enough so that they don’t get kicked or rolled. Also, you can help your loved one install adhesive strips that can help to hold the corners down so that they don’t become a tripping hazard.
Tight Spaces Are Awkward
Bathrooms tend to be the smallest room of a house, and when you’re young that doesn’t really matter. Turning from the sink to the towel rack behind you is a simple task that you don’t even have to think about. But when you get older a simple turn can be tricky. Think about it: when you walk forward, the feet tend to stay out of the way. But when you do a 180-degree turn, it’s easy for feet to bump into each other and cause a fall. Once again, grab handles are a great way to help someone move around the confined space of a bathroom, because they are often more secure than the average towel rack that someone will grab during a fall.
Bathrooms Force You Into Strange Positions
When you look at bathrooms, it becomes pretty obvious that they were built with young people in mind. Unfortunately, this makes it all the more difficult for the elderly to perform all the necessary daily tasks. First of all, toilets are lower to the ground than most chairs, making it difficult to stand up. Second, sinks make the average person lean forward in an awkward position, which might cause them to become unbalanced. This is made all the worse by slick floors or bath mats that don’t grab the floor. Finally, stepping into a shower or bath can be almost impossible for someone who requires mobility aids, mostly because of the tall lip on the side of the tub. Once again, grab bars can be an excellent bathroom safety accessory to help the elderly move about more easily.
One of the hardest tasks for an older person to perform in a bathroom is simply standing up. Raised toilet seats are certainly one of the most helpful. When in the shower, shower chairs and bath chairs are a great way to help them safely bathe themselves. The more solid things to grab hold of, the more likely they are to avoid a bad fall.
There are more bathroom safety products than you might imagine, each created to help those in need keep their independence and privacy at home. Check out the full line of products right here!