As you or a loved one gets older, many common household activities become more difficult or physically challenging. Daily rituals like bathing, in particular, can be especially dangerous. 

Thankfully, there is a wide range of products that can make a home much safer. The bathroom — which, statistically, is where most serious home injuries occur — presents a great opportunity to create a secure and accessible place where seniors and those with disabilities can live at home independently. 

If you’re looking to make your home safer, start by adding some modifications to their bathroom(s). This guide to bathroom equipment for accessibility provides some helpful — even life-saving — products that you can install relatively inexpensively. 

Types of Bathroom Equipment for Accessibility

Bathroom equipment for accessibility can be a great help for seniors in many ways. The right products can help prevent falls and other accidents, make bathing easier, and provide added safety to one’s daily routine. 

With such a huge variety of products to choose from, we’ve narrowed down the list to a few of the most essential safety items you should add to your bathroom. 

Night Lights

Perhaps the easiest and least expensive safety equipment you can install in a bathroom is a night light. In fact, it’s a good idea to place night lights throughout the home to provide a safer environment overall. Numerous models are available at department stores or supermarkets for under $10. 

Mounted Grab Bars

By installing grab bars next to the toilet, in the shower/bath, or any wall where you need to maneuver through the bathroom, you provide older adults with a more secure and stable setting for bathroom activities.

Non-Slip Tape

Bathrooms tend to be full of slippery surfaces, including tile floors and porcelain fixtures. Non-slip tape can transform those surfaces into safer places for older adults to grab onto and keep their balance. 

Non-Slip Mats

A great alternative to tape is a non-slip mat to place in the shower or bathtub. Inexpensive and super easy to install, non-slip mats provide additional stability on slippery surfaces.

Raised Toilet Seat 

There are many different types of toilet seat raisers to choose from depending on your budget and personal preferences. Whether it’s a new toilet seat or a whole new toilet, you make it much easier for an older person to sit and stand safely. 

Shower Bench

It’s often easier — and safer — for seniors to sit while bathing in the shower. Many models of shower benches are available but look for the ones that are light yet sturdy. 

Toilet Seat Handles

You can find a variety of seat or stand-alone safety rails that provide “handlebars” for sitting on and standing from the toilet. Toilet seat handles provide a great amount of security to give older users a more steady grip on this daily activity. 

Selecting the Best Bathroom Equipment for Accessibility

When selecting bathroom equipment for an older person, it is important to consider their needs and abilities. Some factors to consider include: 

• The individual’s mobility, strength, and balance

• Their range of motion

• Their vision and hearing

• Any special needs or concerns they may have

With such a huge variety of bathroom products available, it can be quite helpful to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure that the products you select are appropriate for the individual’s needs. 

Tips for Bathroom Safety for Accessibility

For many seniors, the bathroom is one of their most private spaces. As such, it is important to make sure that the bathroom is safe for them to use. Here are a few tips to help make your bathroom safe for all users:

Have a Plan to Help

If you are supporting family members in their activities of daily living, be sure to know where the person is and what activities they are doing.  Help them set up a safe space and be available if they need support.  

Talk Openly About Concerns

Have a conversation about safety with loved one before they go into the bathroom. Let them know what to do if there is an emergency, and remind them about some of the dangers in the bathroom (like slippery surfaces).

Make Safety Changes

Install grab bars or railings in the bathtub and shower area.

Take some time to do your research before making any decisions. It’s also a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before purchasing any bathroom equipment for accessibility.

If you have specific questions or would like some guidance on which bathroom equipment for accessibility may be most useful for your family’s situation, contact the team at Omicelo Health. We help people like you make their homes safer and more secure so  loved ones can age in place with independence and dignity. 

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