September 19, 2019

4 Ways to Help Make the Bathroom Safer for the Elderly

Filed under: Senior Safety — Tags: — seniorlivingguide @ 4:02 am

Seniors Bathroom SafetyBy Brooke Chaplan

For most elderly adults, the bathroom is one of the most dangerous areas in their homes. The combination of water and slippery surfaces such as tile poses a serious risk for falls. Seniors may also find it hard to steady themselves as they lower themselves to sit on a toilet or try to climb into a bathtub. Now that your loved one is getting older, you may need to make these four changes to his or her bathroom to protect him or her from injury.

Install a Comfort-Height Toilet

Older adults tend to struggle with health issues that make it hard to use the bathroom. For instance, seniors with arthritis will find it harder to lower themselves on to a toilet and stand back up. A comfort-height toilet reduces the strain on your loved one’s lower legs so that he or she is less likely to lose his or her balance while changing positions.

Do a Tub-to-Shower Conversion

Bathtubs often have high ledges that are hard for seniors to step over. Trying to step into the bathtub can also cause a senior to slip on a wet surface and fall. Tub-to-shower conversions are an effective way to instantly make your loved one’s personal hygiene routine safer. Roll-in showers eliminate any ledges that could cause your loved one to trip and fall. When you are planning your bathroom remodeling project, be sure to mention if your loved one has mobility issues. Your remodelers will have experience working with a variety of needs and may have other suggestions for improving mobility and safety.

Consider the Ease for Cleaning

As you plan the tub-to-shower conversion, be sure to think about the types of surfacing that you want in this new bathroom feature. Although tile is pretty, it requires grout that can be hard for seniors to keep clean. Consider having the shower installed with a smooth, grout-free surface that your loved one can easily wipe down. This eliminates the need for them to stand on a wet surface for an extended period of time. Of course, as people age, it becomes harder to bend and kneel to clean, so also consider ensuring that someone other than your aging loved one has to clean the floors in the bathroom.

Make Sure to Add Handrails

Your loved one may still lose his or her balance on non-skid surfacing. Seniors may also be apprehensive about showering if they have ever experienced a fall. Handrails give seniors support as they move around the bathroom. Be sure to add handrails near the toilet and in the shower so that your loved one always has a safe place to grab onto if he or she feels unsteady in the bathroom.

Making a few changes to your loved one’s bathroom is well worth the effort. With a safe bathroom set up, you can feel confident encouraging your loved one to live independently in his or her home. Once the bathroom is complete, just ask your loved one to let you know if he or she encounters any new challenges so that you can immediately respond to his or her needs.

 

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan

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January 11, 2019

Preventing Falls and Senior Safety

Filed under: Senior Safety,Seniors Health — Tags: , , , — seniorlivingguide @ 2:16 pm

By: Darleen Mahoney

A few simple precautions can help make your home or senior living community safe for you or your senior from dangerous falls.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the number one cause of injuries among Seniors. A person living with a cognitive impairment Grabcessoriessuch as dementia or Alzheimer’s is two to three times more likely to experience a fall with serious injury than their cognitively intact counterparts. Injuries from falls in seniors are more detrimental as they may result in a more serious injury or even death. These more serious injuries can include hip fractures, cuts, serious head and brain injuries. Even when there is no serious injury, a fall can be very scary for a senior and cause them to avoid activities out of fear of falling.

Due to the high risk of falls associated with this population, creating a safe home environment and living space is extremely critical.

You can make your home safe from falls with a few basic changes. It does not have to be a complete house remodel; a few simple tweaks can make a big impact.

The bathroom can be one of the most dangerous rooms in a home. Falls often occur when getting in and out of the tub or shower. Grab bars are an essential part of any Senior’s bathroom. Grab bars reduce the risk of slipping and falling. Grab bars are inexpensive and simple to install. If you have concerns about the appearance of installing grab bars in your home and want to maintain a certain aesthetic appeal, Grabcessories.com offers beautiful safety grab bars that blend right in to your living space. Their products completely blend into a bathroom design while providing a safe environment. They offer 2-in-1 Fall prevention systems disguising grab bars as bath accessories. These fall prevention accessories are not only available for homes but cater to senior living communities as well.

Other important tips to make the rest of a home or assisted living community safer is:

• Removing any tripping hazards – fix any loose carpet, throw away rugs, remove furniture that may block or make maneuvering around a space more difficult.
• Clutter – A neat home free of clutter can help prevent a fall
• Lighting – Inadequate lighting, especially for seniors who may have poor eyesight or may be unsteady, can be detrimental to a senior living space
• Foot wear – While socks and slippers may be the most comfortable, its important to make sure that they are non-slip. If possible, encourage them to wear something with a rubber sole.
• Non-slip flooring – Add non-slip linings to tubs and showers

Falls among seniors are a serious problem and a bad fall can have a huge impact on an otherwise healthy and independent senior. The good news is that falls can be prevented. Following the simple guidelines and doing a little planning can significantly reduce the threat of a fall, giving you or your loved ones many more years of independent living.

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