As homeowners, we want to ensure that every area of our home is safe, especially for our aging loved ones. The bathroom, in particular, can be a hazardous place for seniors due to its slippery surfaces and hard fixtures. According to the National Institute on Aging, more than one-third of adults aged 65 and older fall each year, with most falls occurring in the bathroom. 

This blog post provides a checklist of some of the most helpful modifications you can make to improve bathroom safety for seniors in your home. You’ll find tips and solutions for creating a safer environment.

Is Your Bathroom Safe for Seniors?

Before making any changes, it’s helpful to assess your bathroom for potential hazards. Some common dangers include:

  • Slippery floors and surfaces
  • Lack of grab bars
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Low toilet seats
  • High bathtub walls

For starters, you can improve bathroom safety considerably by implementing the following these free or low-cost safety measures:

  • Use non-slip mats or rugs in high-risk areas
  • Increase lighting with brighter bulbs or motion-sensor lights
  • Remove clutter and unnecessary items from the bathroom floor
  • Inspect all pipes, faucets, and features for any cracks or leaks

For maximum protection, review the bathroom safety for seniors checklist below and create a plan for implementing all or most of the following features. 

Bathroom Safety for Seniors Checklist

Installing safety features can make a significant difference in creating a safer bathroom environment. The following list contains some of the most common and helpful items you should seriously consider adding to any home where older adults live or visit frequently.

Grab Bars

Grab bars are an essential safety feature for seniors in the bathroom. They provide support and stability when entering or exiting the bathtub or shower or maneuvering through the bathroom. 

It’s important to install grab bars securely and at the right height for the user. Grab bars should also be able to support the user’s weight. We strongly recommend having a professional install grab bars in your home.

Non-Slip Mats or Rugs

Non-slip mats or rugs can prevent slips and falls on wet surfaces. Place them in high-risk areas such as the bathtub, shower, and around the toilet. Make sure these mats or rugs are securely placed and have a non-slip backing. A wide variety of styles and models are available to fit just about any budget.

Raised Toilet Seats

Raised toilet seats can make it easier for seniors with mobility issues to sit down and stand up. These seats can be installed on top of existing toilets and come in various heights. Be sure to do your homework and choose a height that is comfortable for the user and does not cause any strain or discomfort.

Shower Chairs or Benches

Shower chairs or benches can provide a safe and comfortable place to sit while showering. They come in a wide variety of sizes, materials, styles, and costs, so take your time to choose one that is the most appropriate for the user’s needs.

Other Safety Features to Consider

You can find a long list of possible bathroom safety features that ensure the safest possible conditions in your home. Handheld showerheads make it easier to access hard-to-reach areas while bathing. Walk-in tubs provide a safer option for seniors who have difficulty getting in and out of traditional bathtubs. Anti-scald devices prevent burns from hot water and should be considered an essential safety feature for seniors.

Bathroom Safety for Seniors: Tips for Daily Use

In addition to installing safety features, there are also some regular, daily actions you can take to help seniors stay safe in the bathroom. Strongly consider following these important tips:

  • Keep your bathroom clean and dry every day
  • Install bright light bulbs and nightlights in your bathroom
  • Make sure there are no towels or other tripping hazards on the floor
  • Set your water heater temperature to between 130 and 140 degrees F (no lower and no higher)
  • Keep necessary items such as medicines, brushes, and soaps within reach to prevent overreaching or bending
  • Consider installing automated features such as faucets or light switches

Get More Help from Omicelo Health

By assessing your bathroom for potential hazards, installing safety features, and implementing daily use tips, you can go a long way in avoiding serious accidents or injuries in the bathroom.  Don’t wait until an accident happens — take action now and make necessary changes for a safer bathroom environment. Even small changes can make a significant difference in preventing falls.

If you have questions about installing, purchasing, or financing home safety modifications, reach out to our team at Omicelo Health. We’re here to guide homeowners through the process of making their living space safer and more accessible so they and their older loved ones can age in place and live longer, healthier, and happier lives.

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