While we wish our parents could stay young forever, unfortunately, as you age, they do too. This means that once they retire, their mobility may not be as it once was. If your elderly parent lives independently and you have concerns about their welfare, there are changes you can make in their home to prevent the risk of falls and injuries.
The bathroom is one of the best places to start in creating a hazard-free home, so here are some useful tips on how to make the bathroom safe for your elderly parent.
Install Grab Rails
If your elderly parent’s balance is declining, they may struggle with the most basic of tasks, such as climbing in and out of a bath. One of the biggest causes of bathroom falls is using a towel rail as support when getting off the toilet or out of the bath, so it may be time to install grab rails that can be bolted to the walls. Grab rails will provide much-needed support for your loved one, helping them to manoeuvre around the bathroom without the risk of falling and injuring themselves.
Consider a Shower Chair
We all know how important it is to shower every day, but as your parent ages, they may begin experiencing problems with their balance. This means that standing up in the shower for long periods may be impossible. Thankfully, products like a shower chair can increase safety and decrease the risk of falling. There are other bathroom aids you can buy alongside a shower chair that can help your elderly parent.
Protect Against Slips
Ideally, your elderly parent’s bathroom would have non-slip flooring. However, if it doesn’t already and you don’t want to replace the existing floor, you can purchase non-slip mats to significantly decrease the chance of falling. Non-slip mats can be placed in front of the toilet, sink, shower, and bath.
Change Lighting and Doors
Your elderly parent’s bathroom doors and lighting can have a huge effect on safety. As your parent gets older, their eyesight may begin deteriorating, meaning should the bathroom be fitted with inadequate lighting, this can make it harder for them to see, which in turn contributes to falls. Whatever you do, their bathroom should be well lit so they can get around with ease. The bathroom door should be rehung so that it opens outwards rather than inwards. This means if your loved one has caregivers going in, they can access inside the bathroom quickly, especially if your elderly parent has fallen.
If your loved one enjoys collecting things, too much clutter in the bathroom can cause all kinds of hazards and risks. Before getting to work on upgrading their bathroom, make sure you get rid of clutter that’s blocking the sink, toilet, and shower. The less clutter there is, the more room your elderly parent will have.
It’s hard to see our parents get older and decline in mobility. To give you peace of mind when you’re not with them, there are lots of steps you can take to enhance your loved one’s safety in their bathroom, helping them to hold on to their independence for much longer.