Accidents occurring in the bathroom of a home can seriously injure the elderly and disabled. Showering and bathing prove to be the riskiest activities, with some people becoming injured when they slip and fall while being transported to and from the tub. The risk of injury increases as a person ages, too, which is why it’s very important to take precautionary measures to prevent accidents in the bathrooms of homes of seniors and the disabled, particularly those who use wheelchairs.
Apply the following tips of bathroom safety for seniors with caution to keep your loved ones safe from harm this year.
Give Them Something to Hold Onto
Grab bars allow a person to have something to hold when lifting themselves off the toilet or climbing out of the tub. If a caregiver is assisting them, the person can be of great help by hanging onto the bar while they’re moving from the toilet to the wheelchair or from the wheelchair to the shower chair.
Make Transfers Easier
Lifting a senior or disabled individual often involves several steps. A transfer bench makes the process easier by allowing the caregiver to sit the person down before picking them up and transferring them to where they need to go. It allows the person lifting to rest a moment before lifting again.
Invest in a Sturdy Shower Chair
It’s far easier to adapt the shower and bath than to force a person to adapt. A retractable shower head allows the person seated to control the stream of water. If they can still use their arms without needing assistance, they can wash and condition their hair and scrub their bodies.
Make Sure Mats Consist of Non-Slip Material
To ensure bathroom safety for seniors, bath rubs and bath mats inside of tubs should adhere to the surface without coming to lose. They should tolerate wet feet well and not slip when a person stands on them. It’s a precautionary measure for the person residing in the home and the individual taking care of them.
Test the Temperature of the Water Before Entering the Shower or Tub
If you’re the caregiver, you can turn the temperature of the water and adjust after testing it with your wrist. If the water feels too hot to the touch, imagine how it feels on the skin of the elderly or disabled person. Burns, due to scalding hot water, can be avoided entirely by installing a flat bath thermometer inside the shower.
Do an Allergy Test of All New Products Used on the Skin
Before a senior or disabled person uses a new bath product, doing a patch test on their skin is necessary. That way, if it does irritate the person, it’s only a small patch of skin affected as opposed to the entire body. Caregivers should use extreme caution in using certain hygiene products on their family members or clients because some formulas are very abrasive.
It’s best to err on the side of caution, especially if an elderly or disabled person has been injured in the bathroom before. Adaptive devices reduce the risk of injury and provide an added layer of safety for residents of the home and their caregivers. Fewer trips to the doctor’s office or emergency room are necessary because of the time and attention you gave to safety-proofing the bathroom for your family member, friend, or client.