Growing older can bring on a variety of health problems and limited mobility. As you or someone you care for adjusts to these changes, it may also be time to make changes to your bathroom. The bathroom can be a hazardous place for someone with limited mobility. Update your bathroom with these modifications to increase its accessibility and safety.
For seniors, more than half of the injuries that occur in the bathroom take place around the toilet. To make using the toilet easier and safer, there are a variety of modifications that can be put in place to update your existing toilet.
Toilet Seat Risers – These risers fit right on top of the porcelain bowl and can either replace the toilet seat or go between the bowl and the existing seat. A raised toilet will make it easier to sit down and stand up when using the toilet.
Electronic Toilet Seat – If you are looking for independence in the bathroom, the electronic toilet seat provides a warm water wash with the push of a button. This seat replaces your current toilet seat and eliminates the need for toilet paper.
Safety Rails – Installing safety rails around the toilet can help to ensure bathroom safety as you sit and stand up from the toilet. Models that are adjustable and have foam armrests can also make using the rails more comfortable.
Since the toilet can be a dangerous place for a person with limited mobility, make sure to have a phone installed nearby in case of an emergency.
Lowering the sink can make it easier to wash hands and brush teeth. Also, make sure that there is plenty of leg clearance beneath the sink for maneuverability. You can purchase a wall-mounted sink or a roll-under sink that easily accommodates wheelchairs.
A variety of styles of senior bathtubs from retailers like Carefree Walk In Tubs are available to fit any space in your bathroom. The main feature of these bathtubs is a door that allows the user to walk in to the tub rather than climbing over the side. The doors have a special sealing that keeps water from leaking out the cracks. You can also purchase a tub with special features such as handrails and inside the tub seating that increase the accessibility and safety for users.
The only downfall to walk-in tubs is that you must enter the bathtub and shut the door before turning on the water. This may mean being cold for a longer period of time while the tub is filling and you are adjusting for the proper temperature. In addition, many senior bathtubs come equipped with a fast draining system because the tub must drain completely before you can open the door and exit. The accessibility benefits, however, seem to far outweigh these problems.
A hand-held shower head in the bathtub or shower is the best option for seniors because it can provide more control. Also, remember to place a nonskid bathmat in the bathtub to lower the risk of slipping and falling.
With a few modifications to the toilet, sink, and bathtub, you can make the use of your home bathroom easier and safer. These changes could also mean that you can continue using the bathroom in your home independently. Your senior years should be a time to enjoy life and taking care of your safety in the bathroom can help you do just that.