How to take the dangers out of your bathroom for elderly relatives
When you are in charge of looking after an elderly relative, it can be incredibly difficult to make sure that everything is as safe as it should be at all times. With this being the case, you need to consider each room in your house in turn – and one of the most important ones to think about is the bathroom. This is particularly dangerous due to the fact that there is a lot of water about, which could increase the risk of slipping. This blog will give you some great tips about how you could make your bathroom safer for the elderly relatives who are in your care.
Add some bars to hold onto
This is something that will help when your relative is trying to lower themselves onto the toilet, into the bath, and when they wish to get up again. However, you should always ask for professional help to install the bars. This is because you need to make sure that they are at the right height on the wall, or they won’t be of much use at all. Also, they need to be attached to the wall as firmly as possible, so that they don’t come off when they are used. If they are too loose, this risks further injury.
Take the lock off your bathroom door
Although everyone wants and needs privacy, having the option to lock the door could prove dangerous if there is some kind of emergency while in the bathroom. Instead, you should take the lock off, and simply set the rule that you should knock before entering the bathroom. That way, you will know if there is anybody in there.
Have your shower doors opening outwards
If your elderly relative collapses while in the shower, you won’t be able to get to them quickly if the doors open inwards, as they may have fallen and will now be blocking the door. Instead, you should either have doors that open out, or if this is not practical then sliding doors are the next best option. It is a simple thing to change, but it is very important that you do make the change if you can, as it means that any accidents can be dealt with as safely and effectively as possible.
Slip proof shower trays and flooring
Slipping in the bathroom is one the most common accidents the elderly encounter. With condenstaion and water, a floor is a serious accident waiting to happen. Even with grab rails on hand a slippy floor is not ideal for eldlery people. There are slip proof tiles and shower trays which eliminate this problem. You can also get slip proof mats that will help with this issue. The best way to see what the bathroom is like is to have a shower or hot soak in the bath there. See what your eldlery relative is dealing with. Take care but almost try to make a slip happen, as your aware of what your doing you can stop any major fall happen, but see how easy it is to make you slip. If its too easy, this needs addressing.
Check your hot water temperature
All showers will have the facility to change temperatures, but the majority of boilers will give you the option of setting an upper limit on your temperature, so that you are able to prevent skin from being scalded. Sometimes, the temperature can be high enough to cause damage without you even realising it, so it is a sensible thing to do to add this limit to it. You should also think about how the water temperature is turned down if it becomes too hot while in the shower. For example, if you have a knob style temperature regulator, this could be difficult for someone with a poor grip, meaning that if the temperature is too high they might not be able to stop it quickly enough to avoid being badly burned.
Check your bathroom regularly
Regular checking is the only way that you can really be sure that everything is safe in your bathroom. For example, you should check that there are no loose tiles, and that there is nothing that could be tripped over. Any kind of injury can be dangerous to the elderly, and this means that you should be doing everything that you can in order to avoid this from happening at all – particularly in such a potentially dangerous area as the bathroom.