Unfortunately, older people are more susceptible to a bathroom fall due to the natural depletion of reflexes and muscle mass and therefore suffer more severe injuries from their falls. Accidents in tight, slippery places cause most of their falls.
Time to plan and ensure that the toilet, shower, and bathroom floor is safe is advantageous when it comes to reducing the risk of a fall or any other kind of accident. Older people have reduced mobility, and therefore affordable toilets that comply with universal design standards are available to them and principally serve their requirements.
Accessing the Bathroom
The bathroom should be easy to access with a clear path, eliminating things such as loose mats, shoes, and loose objects that can lead to tripping or obstructing a wheelchair’s path.
For those late-night trips to the bathroom, installing a light switch on the way to the toilet and lowering the location of the light switch for people who use a wheelchair is critical for visibility.
Personalizing the Toilet and Faucets
Installation of higher toilets can make life so much easier for an older person as the distance for them to stand up and sit down becomes stunted. Eliminating this struggle for them is hugely positive as they exert less strain on their bodies when sitting down and getting up from the toilet.
A standard toilet’s measurements are about 40-43 centimeters from the floor to the top of the seat, comfortable toilet heights measure to 43-45 centimeters. Replacing spherical knobs with lever taps or faucets with an electric sensor would be more convenient for an older person to use.
Customizing the bathroom door by removing locks and old twisting handles and replacing them with a simple lever handle eliminates any unnecessary delays during potential emergencies.
Also, adjusting the width of the door entrance to about 82 centimeters wide, especially for wheelchair users, reduces any chances of bumping into small door frames.
Adding Grab Bars
These bars are for those emergencies and can prevent an emergency hospital visit. Grab bars should be aluminum or stainless steel and, most importantly, be suitable for the weight of the user. Fit them between 1.1-1.3 meters for good measure and safety.
Grab bars should be installed in the shower, next to the toilet, and even next to the washbasin. If their bathroom is relatively large, safety bars are also beneficial to install on walls for some extra support when needed.
Installing an Elderly Bathroom Alarm System
Although these precautions help to prevent falls and injuries, you never really know what can go wrong. Installing a bathroom alert system can be beneficial in any possible dangerous scenario. It is always good to think of the worst-case scenario and plan accordingly.
Emergency buttons close to the toilet, washbasin, in the shower, and close to the floor is essential, especially if there is no possibility of getting up. These buttons dial telecare companies who are well experienced and will know what to advise until help can arrive.