Bathroom safety is probably the most important issue you can address when looking at home safety. Falls are the leading cause of death (caused by complications) in seniors, and more falls and and accidents happen in the bathroom than in any other room of the house.
By creating a safe environment in this room, you are helping to reduce the chance of a hospital visit or death. (Yes, it is that serious.) Use a critical eye and consider current (and future) conditions which may dictate needs.
Bathroom Safety Tips
We’ve compiled a list of bathroom safety tips for seniors and the elderly to help you (or your loved one) live more independently by exercising safety in the bathroom.
- A non-skid mat or coating in shower to reduce slipping.
- Install a shower seat that is mounted securely.
- Shower doors are made of safety glass or plastic
- Install grab bars inside the shower and outside the shower for safe exit. Also, install near toilet area for assistance standing and sitting. (As with all home improvements, have the professionally installed.)
- Bathroom floor has a non-glare finish or is textured tile. If carpet is used, only low-pile carpet. Never use a bath mat or throw rug. (Ever, in any room.)
Bath lighting for safety
- Install ample, non-glare lighting. The more natural light, the better.
- Make sure there is a light in the tub or shower area, too.
- Ensure the light switch is next to the door.
- Place a night light or automatic lighting in bathroom for safety.
- Install a walk-in tub (safety tub), walk-in shower (roll-in shower) to help reduce elderly falls.
- Make sure the toilet paper holder is easily reached from a sitting position on the toilet (a safety issue).
- Make sure towels, soap, shampoo, etc. are easily accessible from inside the shower. (No reaching.)
- Dry off before you exit the shower to reduce the risk of slipping.
Easier bathroom use
- Install a lever handled faucet and shower control that is near the entrance of the shower.
- Have a phone installed in the bathroom that is accessible from the toilet and the tub (for safety emergencies).
- Install a raised toilet
Miscellaneous Bathroom safety tips
- Install a pressure control and anti-scald controls. (A good idea for the kitchen as well.)
- Keep counters and shelve clear of clutter.
- Bathroom doors should be unlockable from the outside and should open out (not in).
- Install GFCI outlets to protect from shock.
Other Home Safety Ideas
Home Safety : Bathroom Safety | Kitchen Safety | Bedroom Safety
Photo credit: Wikipedia