According to several studies, one out of three senior citizens above the age of 65, suffer from falls every year. It’s no surprise that of these, nearly 80% of all falls occur in the bathroom.
Slippery floors, poor lighting, lack of support bars, cluttered floors – bathrooms pose a major challenge for senior adults who have mobility issues. As more and more couples, choose to spend their golden years at home, with children living far away, there’s an urgent need to design – safe and accessible bathrooms for seniors.
Here, in today’s post, you can find some of the best design tips to make your bathrooms safe for your ageing parents.
Reduce the Clutter in the Bathroom
The things that you have on the bathroom shelves sometimes pose a problem for seniors. For instance, if your bathroom shelves are cluttered with endless bottles of – shampoo, conditioner, lotions, toothpaste, shower gels, soaps and more, the senior is likely to knock these down at some point. If this happens, the older adult is likely to bend over to pick it up which may cause him/her to lose balance and stumble.
The first step in making a bathroom senior-friendly is to reduce the clutter. Remove things that are unused. And ensure that all toiletries are arranged neatly on a shelf or cupboard. Keep the day-to-day items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, and soaps within reach.
Add Slip-Resistant Floor Tiles
Floors are one of the biggest safety hazards for seniors. However, today you have plenty of slip-resistant bathroom tiles in the market.
Look for tiles that come with added texture to provide better grip. Smooth, polished and glossy tiles don’t work well for seniors. Unglazed ceramic mosaic tiles are an excellent option for senior-friendly bathrooms. Additionally, smaller tiles are less slippery when compared to large tiles.
Get in touch with our sales team to help you pick the best ceramic tiles perfect for bathrooms. Our range of bathroom tiles has a high slip-resistance co-efficient, making them ideal for bathrooms used by seniors.
Add Toilet Safety Rails
Simply put, these are bars that are attached to walls around the toilet. They provide additional support while using the toilet. Ageing seniors often find it difficult to get up from the toilet. These rails provide them with additional support and grip.
Toiler safety rails are one of the most important additions while making a bathroom senior-friendly. The best part – they aren’t expensive. They are available in a wide range of styles and types. The two main categories are – free-standing frames that are positioned around the toilet, or wall attached ones.
Choosing between these two depends on the space available in your bathroom.
Choose the Right Lighting
Most bathrooms use overhead lighting as most people believe that this is the best way to illuminate the entire bathroom. However, overhead lighting often poses problems for seniors. This is because, overhead lighting casts shadows, thereby failing to illuminate particular corners and other spaces. Instead, of depending on a single overhead lighting, opt for multiple light fixtures in the bathroom.
Additionally, add contrasting and bright colours to the bathroom to make the space feel bright and airy.
- Miscellaneous Tips to Boost the Safety of your Bathrooms
- Install an emergency phone in the bathroom. Make sure that it’s waterproof and easily reachable.
- Advise seniors not to lock the bathrooms when they use it. Very often, it becomes a problem to unlock the bathroom if an elderly person happens to fall inside.
- Mark hot and cold water handles brightly. As seniors grow old, they often lose the sharpness of their vision. By marking hot water handles, you prevent them from scalding themselves with boiling hot water.
- Ensure that the bathroom is big enough to walk around.
- Increase the height of the toilet seat. This ensures that seniors needn’t bend down much to use the toilet, thereby reducing the risk of falling.
- Seniors usually cannot stand for a long time. So, installing a shower bench lets them enjoy their bath without feeling rushed.
- Install plenty of grab bars. These provide seniors with sufficient grip and leverage while using the toilets and shower areas.
Whether it’s because of restricted mobility or ageing in general, the bathroom experience becomes more difficult, as people grow older. Simple daily activities like – brushing the teeth, taking a shower, and using the toilet become a frightening and anxiety-inducing experience for seniors.
Thankfully, today there are plenty of ways to make the bathrooms accessible for seniors. Non-slip mats, walk-in showers, slip-resistant flooring tiles are a few ways to make the bathrooms a safe zone for elders.
Taking steps to improve bathroom safety is a must, especially for seniors who are living alone. With that said, most of these design tips listed here are quite easy to implement and don’t burn a hole in your pocket.
And, don’t forget to get in touch with our team to pick slip-resistant flooring tiles for your senior-friendly bathrooms.