Safer and Easier to use Bathrooms
If you are a Senior or have one living with you, these tips will be helpful in reducing the risk of injuries from falls.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), at least 1 in 4 adults over the age of 65 falls each year. The National Institute on Aging reports that 80% of all falls in the home occurs in the BATHROOM. Warrior Plumbing, serving Baltimore MD, can make any bathroom safer and easier to use for seniors, handicapped or disabled. If you’d just like handrails installed or a complete remodel, please CONTACT US and we’ll get started on your project right away!
7 Tips for Senior-Friendly Bathrooms
There are many reasons to swap out a standard bathtub with a Walk-In type. The main reasons are for the safety and convenience of seniors or those with limited mobility. Even with handrails, getting in and out of a standard bathtub can be risky for some people. Walk-in bathtubs are the safest option for unassisted and assisted bathers.
There are many different styles of walk-in bathtubs to choose from and prices have been decreasing as their popularity has grown. In Baltimore, Warrior Plumbing can help you select and install the perfect walk-in bathtub for your needs.
People don’t often think that a standard shower can be a safety issue. For some though, having to step over even a small threshold can increase the risk of a dangerous fall. Senior-friendly showers come in many configurations and there are conversion kits available as well.
The components of a senior-friendly (disabled/handicapped) shower can include a beveled threshold (allowing for wheelchair or walker access), a bench, grab bars, handrails, support poles, slip-resistant floor, hand-held shower spray (accessible from the bench), anti-scald valve and more.
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The height of a standard toilet seat is often too low for ease of use by many seniors. This is also the case for anyone with back, hip or knee problems. Having handrails can help, but by replacing the toilet with a raised one is even better. New raised toilets are not expensive and there are no special installation requirements.
There are many raised seats which can be used with existing toilets. Depending on your needs, this could be the best option. If this bathroom will be used by seniors extensively, or if the home is in a senior living community replacing the toilet with one with a raised seat can be the best option and even add value to the property.
Seniors will manage better in bathrooms with even lighting on all surfaces. Bathrooms which only have strong overhead lighting can have shadows making it difficult to navigate or find items. Wall mounted light fixtures can provide an even distribution of light. Also, high-gloss finishes (paint or countertops) should be avoided as these can produce glare which can also be confusing for the visually impaired.
Smooth floors in bathrooms look elegant but are dangerously slick when wet. Throw rugs or mats can help but they can also be a tripping risk. The best options for safe bathroom flooring is a slip-resistant and cushioned material the best of which is Rubber. Rubber flooring is available as rolls or tiles but more expensive than other options. The advantages of using Rubber as bathroom flooring is that it is both slip and moisture-resistant and offers the most cushion in case of a fall. But as we mentioned, it is also expensive and there are limited designs as compared to Vinyl or Tile flooring. Slip-resistant Vinyl is a very good option and is much easier on the budget. Vinyl is easy to maintain, comes in many styles, and offers more cushion than tile in case of a fall.
6: HANDRAILS/GRAB BARS
Handrails can make a senior’s life much easier and safer. Having something to hold onto when getting up from the toilet, bath or shower bench allows greater independence for seniors. Outside of the bathroom, anywhere there is a step or incline, a sturdy well-placed handrail will be appreciated by a senior or mobility-challenged person.
Our last tip is often overlooked when it comes to maintaining a safe environment for seniors. The floor is the most important area when it comes to removing clutter. Trash cans need to be kept under a cabinet, door stops should not be used, and if there are children in the home, make sure to keep toys off of the floor where seniors will be walking. Also, throw rugs can be a tripping hazard and should be avoided in the senior-friendly home.
Contact Warrior NOW if you need a bathroom made Senior-Safe today!
Warrior Plumbing and Heating is Baltimore’s most trusted Plumbing company. Family owned and operated, Warrior has 5 generations of plumbing experience!
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