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6 Home Safety Tips for Elderly Parents in Bathroom

6 Home Safety Tips for Elderly Parents in Bathroom

 

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Bathrooms can be one of the most dangerous places for seniors. According to the NIA (National Institute of Aging), 80% of all fall accidents involving seniors occur in the bathroom, leading to bone fractures and other major injuries.

Here are some improvements you can make to your home to increase safety in your home for seniors, to reduce the risks of accidents, and to make daily bathroom activities safe and manageable for the elderly.



1. Place non Slip Mats near the Sink and Bathroom Entryway

Make sure to have a toilet door of at least 24 inches wide to allow easy access for wheelchairs and commodes.

Place an anti-slip mat outside of the toilet entryway. This provides a surface with a good grip to prevent slipping after a shower.




2. Install support grab bars

A grab bar allows the elderly to rise with the assistance of their arms for extra support, while a toilet seat riser increases the height of any standard toilet to a comfortable height, placing less strain on the back and legs when trying to stand from a seated position.
GRAB BARS should be provided on the side wall closest to the toilet will help someone with sitting or standing, or someone in transferring from a wheelchair onto the toilet seat. There should also be a grab bar placed on the wall behind the toilet .
1) Horizontal grab bars
  • require a height between 33’’ and 36’’ inches from the finished floor of the bathroom, shower or tub.
2) A vertical bar
  • is frequently preferred over a horizontal bar because it is easier for arthritic hands to grip.
  • Recommended installing the bar at no more than 9’’ from the edge of the outside tub wall

The best height for grab bars is always going to be where it will be the most secure and comfortable for the intended user. So in other word, if you don't install the bars in the right place, they are unlikely to be used by the person they are intended it for!



3. Place a shower chair and a raised toilet seat at Shower Area

Install a grab bar or toilet seat riser to allow the elderly to rise from the toilet safely.

A standard toilet bowl is about 15 inches from floor to seat, which can put a lot of strain on the back and legs of the elderly when rising up after using the toilet. Height of toilets bowl must have 17"-20" floor to bowl rim height, including the seat.  You can consider to add toilet seat raiser.
If you do not want to install grab bar, you can consider a freestanding toilet seat riser will has armrests in addition to the increased height, allowing the elderly to get up safely and with ease.

Include a shower stool or shower chair to allow seniors to conserve energy in their legs while showering, providing extra comfort and security.

Wall-mounted shower seats are convenient and easy to put away, but require the elderly to have some strength in their legs to support them while seated, while a standard shower chair takes up more room, but gives the elderly a more secure seat that they can fully relax in.

For the semi-dependent, A commode shower chair with wheels is a very convenient solution to bed-to-bathroom transfers, and can even be wheeled in over a toilet if the patient needs to use the loo.



4. Apply Anti Slip flooring treatment 


Install anti-slip flooring to give the elderly extra grip in their footing, even when the floor is wet, to greatly decrease the risk of slipping and falling.



5. Use Shower Tools for Self Independent


Other shower tools, such as a long brush or long comb can provide a better quality of life for the elderly, allowing them to clean themselves independently and wash or groom hard-to-reach areas on their own. Having a sense of control over their daily activities can go a long way towards building more confidence in the elderly, allowing them to live more fulfilling, happier lives.
Use handheld shower held while bathing. 
Sit down to get dressed. 
Place motion sensor night light from pathway from bedroom to toilet/bathroom. 

    6. Install Ramp

    Ramps are especially useful to assist commodes to enter toilets as toilets commonly have a ledge which prevents water from flowing out.
    2 types of ramps - rubber and aluminium. Our aluminium ramp is customised according to your requirements.
    Take Home Message
    • Fall can be PREVENTED
    • By using proper ads and adaptation can help to manage fall risk in home.
    • If you need professional advice on home hazard assessment, can contact us for an appointment. 

     

    Source: 

    1. Tena Caring 101 Handbook- Your caregiving companion

    2. Universe Malaya Medial Centre (UMMC) Fall Prevention at Home For Elderly 

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