If you had to list a few words off the top of your head to describe your bathroom, what would they be? Most people would probably say things like calming, relaxing, and clean. As you get older, though, you might associate your bathroom with another word: dangerous. The unfortunate truth is that for older adults, bathrooms pose many risks because they’re smaller spaces with lots of hard surfaces, sharp corners, and slippery moisture or wetness. On top of that, sitting down and standing can leave seniors more unsteady or off-balance due to factors like blood pressure changes or muscle weakness.
While navigating the bathroom can become more of a challenge as you get older, this doesn’t mean you can’t continue to live comfortably and safely in your home. As you reach your golden years, you should instead simply consider making some upgrades and tweaks to your bathroom so that it better accommodates you and your lifestyle. Here are some of the top bathroom safety tips for seniors:
Keep The Space Clear & Well-Lit
The easiest way to prevent any mishaps in the bathroom is by keeping the area as visible and clutter-free as possible. While you may love plushy bath mats, they’re easy to trip over if you’re not paying enough attention, so make sure to pick them up off the floor when you’re done showering or bathing. Common floor-level bathroom accessories like plungers and stools should be either put away or tucked into a corner/against a wall so they’re out of the way. You can also avoid tripping or slipping by keeping your bathroom well-lit. Oftentimes, this room has no exterior windows which can make it darker than other rooms in your home, so you should compensate by installing ample lighting fixtures or plugging in a night-light.
Raise Your Toilet
Since we lose steadiness as we age, even something as simple as sitting down and standing up to use the toilet can become difficult. So, if you have a fairly low toilet in your bathroom, you might want to consider replacing it with a taller option. While a standard toilet typically measures 15 or 16 inches from the floor to the top of the seat, there are comfort toilets that measure anywhere from 17 to 19 inches. It might not sound like a huge increase, but adding those few inches can make using the toilet that much easier and safer.
Update Your Bathtub or Shower
The most daunting spot of all in your bathroom is the one that’s designed to be wet: the bath or shower area. Standing water can be slippery, especially when it’s on the slick, nonporous surfaces of a tub or shower, so it’s completely understandable to have some anxiety regarding safety in this part of the bathroom. What’s more, the design of standard combination baths/showers can also be difficult for older adults to navigate, as there is a high tub wall to step over. The good news is that there are safer bathing systems out there, including walk-in tubs and showers. These systems feature low entry thresholds and other components to allow for a safer and easier bathing experience.
If a walk-in shower in particular sounds perfect for your bathroom, the remodeling experts at Tundraland are here to help! We offer top-quality shower systems that not only feature ultra-low entry thresholds but can be customized with other safety options like grab bars and bench seats. Get started on your bathroom safety journey by contacting us today.