Bathroom safety is an incredibly important topic today. The U.S. is experiencing an ageing population and with ageing comes new mobility and safety challenges. A change in balance or mobility means new challenges to face, particularly in the bathroom. The bathroom is one room in the home that we often ignore yet it’s a hot spot for safety issues as it’s frequently cluttered, has slippery floors and sleek surfaces and a number of challenges such as getting on and off the toilet as well as bending the knees to step into and out of the bath and/or shower. It’s time we open the dialogue and discuss how to make the bathroom cleaner and safer for our seniors and anyone with a mobility challenge.
1. Clean Up and Organize the Bathroom
First thing is first. Let’s take a step back and look at the bathroom. What is on the floor? What is behind the door? What about the counter next to the sink? It is full of makeup, products, perhaps a hair dryer or shaver. Even a hanging towel may create an additional obstacle. Could someone mistake the towel rack for a grab bar? Towel racks are not meant to the support the weight of the user so carefully consider if the towel rack needs to be replaced with someone more stronger. Take some time to examine the bathroom section by section and clean up everything. Put all of the products away in the cabinets. An organized and tidy bathroom is a safe bathroom and this will lead us to the next step of bath safety.
2. Improve Your Balance and Mobility
Outside of the bathroom, it’s incredibly important of take good care of yourself. Eat well and exercise regularly. The exercise does not have to be grueling but it has to be deliberate and regular. Work specifically on balance and mobility to improve strength and confidence when moving around the home and bath. Stretch regularly. Working on mobility will make it easier to safely move around the bathroom. Exercise will help to keep your bones, joints and muscles healthy which decrease the risk of a fall or accident. It can also be a good idea to wear sneakers in the bathroom for added grip. Consider wearing sneakers up until the last second when you are entering the tub or shower.
3. Raise the Toilet Seat with a Toilet Seat Riser
Raising the toilet seat is an easy and convenient way to decrease the distance between sitting and standing, making it easier for anyone with a mobility challenge to get on and off the toilet safely while maintaining independence. Toilet seat risers are becoming more and more common in people’s homes for a very good reason. Why replace the entire toilet when you can buy a product to simply raise the height of the toilet seat to make it more safe?
The risk of falls is real. Historically, one out of every three seniors falls and has an accident. Falls are the leading cause of injuries and early death among seniors. The topic is real and it must be addressed today. Start with the uncomfortable - the bath. It’s a hot spot full of slippery surfaces. Attack the bathroom straight on and make it safer, cleaner and more comfortable today. Contact Lonjev today to learn more about how you can improve bathroom safety today.