According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three adults over age 65 falls every year. With their slippery floors and slick surfaces, bathrooms are among the main rooms in the house where falls can happen. Fortunately, there are some safety precautions you can take to make bathrooms safer. Whether you’re planning to care for aging parents in your own home or they’re planning to age in place, these guidelines from a Henderson plumber can make your bathroom safe.
Have a First-Floor Bathroom
Bathrooms located on the first floor are the most accessible for elderly family members. There are no stairs required to reach a first-floor bathroom, which in turn boosts its safety rating. You might want to consider remodeling your home to add a bathroom if there is not one there already. Depending on your budget and financial situation, another option is to install a chair lift that makes it easier for an elderly adult to reach a bathroom on another level.
Create Space to Move
Your elderly family members may already use support devices for mobility, such as a cane or a wheelchair. If they don’t, they may require assistive devices in the future. Either way, you’ll want to make sure that your bathroom has enough space for someone who uses support devices to maneuver easily. The bathtub, toilet, shower stall, closets, and cabinets are especially important places to consider for clear space.
Consider the Toilet
The toilet is one of the most heavily-used appliances in the bathroom and your home in general. While you might think nothing of the height and location of your toilets, those factors are essential for the comfort and safety of elderly parents and family members. If the height of your current toilet isn’t suitable for an older parent, consider getting a seat extender or replacing the toilet with one that’s at an optimal height. The latter option is most practical if you’ve been considering updating your toilet anyways.
Install Grab Bars
Along with making enough room in the bathroom, you can install support railings (or “grab bars”) in strategic locations across the bathroom for additional safety. Grab bars should be installed where an elderly parent might need extra support moving around, such as getting into and out of the shower and maneuvering around the toilet. Along with installing grab bars along the outside of the tub or shower, you should place them inside as well so that your parent has something to hold onto while bathing. Grab bars can also be added in bedrooms and in other areas of your home where walking assistance is necessary.
There are specific considerations to make when planning for an elderly parent’s living situation. If you are wondering, “where is a plumber near me who can make a bathroom safer?”, contact Service Plus Plumbing for your bathroom modification needs.