Custom Bathrooms for Seniors with Mobility Issues
The bathroom is the most dangerous place in the house for both seniors and individuals with mobility issues. Seniors lose a lot of mobility as they grow old, so making bathrooms safe and accessible apply to both parties.
1. Light the Path
Visibility is one of the most essential factors in preventing slips and falls. Darkness is disorienting, and limited visibility increases your chances of bumping into something or making a misstep. Make light switches easily accessible or keep the hallways and bathrooms lit during the night. You can also use motion-detecting light systems to ensure that your paths during the night are always well-lit.
2. Clear the Way
Whether you’re using a wheelchair, walker, or just a simple cane, get rid of rugs, mats, or any obstruction that can catch on to your wheels, trip you on your way, or slip from under your feet. Remove every possible obstruction so you can have a clear path to your destination. The fewer turns you make to avoid obstacles, the safer your trip. Stairs and steps can be quite problematic, so try to keep things level. And if you must, use a ramp with a gentle slope.
3. Have Enough Handholds
Handholds can be a life-saver, especially if you suffer from bouts of vertigo or have weak knees. You might have little problems using a wheelchair or walking with a cane, but sitting down and getting up or moving from your wheelchair to the toilet seat is a whole other matter. Any time you drastically need to shift your center of gravity or move to a different place (if you’re using a wheelchair) requires a bit of strength and steady control of balance. Handholds in the bathroom (particularly near the toilet) make up for the loss of strength and coordination, making your trips to the bathroom easier and safer.
4. Use Custom Tubs
Loss of visibility, wet floors, slippery soap — showers are a no-no. Using a standard tub is also out of the question; merely getting in one is difficult as it is, not to mention dangerous. However, you can still take your regular baths safely by using custom walk-in bathtubs for seniors. Walk-in tubs are designed specifically for individuals with mobility issues. There is little to no risk of slips and falls as you maintain a sitting position while you take your bath. Custom tubs allow you to keep a little bit more of your independence, especially on such a private matter.
5. In Case of an Emergency
Even with all your preparations, sometimes accidents are unavoidable. Getting immediate help is crucial, and medical alert systems will instantly alert emergency services at the touch of a button or once it detects a fall. While not precisely a bathroom feature, these alert systems are worn, and some can even be used in the shower.
Your bathroom doesn’t have to be the most dangerous part of the house. Ensure easier and safer bathroom trips and avoid being a part of the current statistics.