Getting older is a fact of life and we should be grateful if our parents gets to a grand old age. It can be worrying for family members due to the fact that the elderly are more prone to accidents. As daughters and sons we want our parents to live happily at home for as long as possible. This can only really be achieved if the home is made safe.
Slips and falls in the bathroom is the number one most common injury for the aging. Ask any old person what they struggle the most with and they will say getting in and out of the bath. Sadly not everyone can afford to completely remodel the bathroom, but the reality is that the everyday bathroom is simply not safe for the elderly.
You want your parents to be comfortable, safe, and to be able to take care of personal hygiene in a suitable bathroom. Your parents want to feel safe and secure while in the bathroom as well. It is important to consider bathroom design and function for our elderly relatives. You don’t always have to completely remodel the bathroom, but do keep the following elderly care bathroom design tips in mind:
1. Hand-friendly doorknob. It might not dawn on you that a doorknob can be a chore for some aging parents. This is especially true if someone suffers from painful arthritis or another condition that makes it difficult to open or close a door. Look into the lever-style hardware for the bathrooms doors and faucets as well.
2. Well lit rooms. If the lighting is poor in the bathroom, consider installing a better lighting system. Dark places make it easy to bump into things and risk bruising and falling.
3. Non-skid floors. Have you ever slipped on a floor? Getting out of the tub with wet feet can be quite hazardous. One little slip can cause an aging parent to fall and bruise or break a bone. Your best bet is to add rugs that are non-skid so that they stay secure in one place. Take the time to test them out yourself. Don’t be afraid to try them right at the store before you even purchase them. If they don’t pass your non-skid test at the store, keep looking.
4. Safe shower/bath areas. The shower area is one of the biggest concerns of aging parents. In fact, some elders will slack when it comes to personal hygiene because it is difficult for them to get in and out of the bathtub. Also, it wears them out having to stand so long in the shower in order to get clean. What you can do about this is to install a walk-in shower so that all your aging parents have to do is walk in the shower to wash and out when done. Many walk-in showers also have a seat so that people can sit down and wash up. Hand rails are also installed to make it easy to grab on for leverage while in the shower. You really cannot go wrong with the walk-in shower and this will decrease the chance of aging parents slipping and falling in the bathtub greatly.
5. Handheld shower nozzles. Do purchase a handheld shower nozzle so that your parents can sit down and use the nozzle as they wish. This eliminates much frustration.
Elder bathroom design does not have to be extravagant. Making simple changes will go a long way and keep your aging parents safe and secure, which will help you to feel better as well.