Key things to watch out for
Looking after anyone can be difficult, but when it is somebody as vulnerable as an elderly person then you may feel as though there is a lot of pressure on you to be able to get it absolutely right. With this being true, you should think about each room in your home in order to make sure that it is as safe as it can be. A dangerous area is your bathroom, and there are parts of the room that aren’t as safe as they could be that you might never have even thought about. This blog will take you through some key areas that your bathroom could be improved in, and this means that you can then help to make sure that everyone is safe while using it.
Your floor might be slippery
There are lots of ways in which water can make its way onto the floor in a bathroom, and this can include small leaks around the seal of your appliances and also when condensation lowers and settles on the ground after a particularly hot shower. If this is allowed to happen then it can be dangerous, and it means that somebody might slip on the floor. Some floor materials are better than others – for example lino is less likely to cause a problem than tiles, so you might find that it is worthwhile changing your floor covering to see whether that makes any difference.
Hand rails are not fitted properly
You may have taken the decision to fit hand rails into your bathroom, thinking that they would help your relative to lower themselves up and down whenever they need to. This is true, they do help a lot, however it is absolutely vital that you have them fitted properly, by a professional if at all possible. There are a number of things that could be done wrong with hand rails, and this includes them not being fitted tightly enough, which means they could come off the wall and cause a fall, or they could be at the wrong height. If they are fitted at the wrong height then this can cause a lot of issues when being used, as it would cause more strain, rather than helping to relieve it.
Things are out of reach
There are lots of things that people might need to reach when they are in the bathroom, including toothpaste, shower gel and toilet roll. It is important that all of these are within easy reach, so that your relative doesn’t have to stretch to reach what they need. If they have to do this, then they run the risk of falling or pulling a muscle, which can cause a lot of pain and distress. Test out the bathroom as you would if you were your relative, including using their wheelchair if needed. Make sure that everything is in reach, so that they can be as independent as possible without having to ask for help.
Make the bathroom safe in case of a fall
No matter how well you prepare, you may find that a fall does occur. You should make sure that the floor is as soft as possible. As mentioned above, lino is much better for this purpose than tiles, as it makes for a softer landing. In addition, if there are any sharp corners on things like cabinets, you should ensure that these are covered up. By taking the time to prevent falls, and taking steps to avoid injury where they do occur, you can ensure that your loved one remains safe as far as possible.