In today's world, many seniors—and their children—are opting for in-home care. The comfort and cost of in-home senior care is very appealing; unfortunately, it can also present dangers. Because there are no safety regulations in your home, it is easy to accidents to occur—especially in the bathroom.
If your loved one will be staying in their home for the duration of their senior years, make sure you "senior-proof" the home. For starters, address the bathroom; it is the most common place for slips and falls.
Don't know where to start? Just follow these four tips:
1. Provide Decent Lighting
Seniors often have a hard time sleeping through the night because of their bladder. Just ask anyone over 50 years old if they get up in the middle of the night and you will hear a resounding "yes." Getting up in the middle of the night to use the restroom isn't a problem, but it can be dangerous—especially without proper lighting.
So make sure that there is decent lighting in the bathroom at night. A nightlight is ideal, as it provides light without the need to flip the switch. If the bathroom is located in a long hallway or on another floor, make sure there is lighting throughout the home so that your loved one can see where he or she is walking.
2. Make Showers Accessible
Even if your loved one doesn't have problems standing or walking for long periods of time, make sure your shower is senior-friendly. Install a shower-safe chair so that your loved one can sit; this alone will make the shower safer. Another helpful thing you can do is install a handheld showerhead, which makes showering easier—especially for hard to reach areas, such as the back.
3. Keep Floors Safe
Another thing you need to do is make your bathroom floors safe. After using the shower or tub, the floor becomes wet and slippery; two factors that make slipping and falling easy. To keep the floor from becoming dangerous, make sure you have non-skid mats on the ground. Also, make sure you provide these in the shower as well, as slips and falls can happen there too.
4. Install Grab Bars
Seniors often grab onto things to keep themselves stable—or to prevent a fall. If you do not have grab bars, it is possible they are grabbing onto towel bars. Unfortunately, towel bars are not strong enough to support the weight of an adult; this can make it very dangerous.
To keep your loved one safe, install grab bars in your bathroom. Make sure you position them appropriately, so that they are within reach. The best places to put grab bars are in the shower or bathtub, as well as near the sink. You can also install them near the entrance of the bathroom, if needed.
Although these four tips are not a comprehensive list, they are a good start. Above all, make sure someone is with your loved one at all times when using the restroom if needed. Speak with experts like ComForcare - Hazelwood, MO for more information.