Many elderly people are keen to remain in their own homes, rather than move into residential care accommodation. This can be made possible with the assistance of a good home care service team and a few adaptations and modifications to the person’s home.
The bathroom is a potentially hazardous area that can be made much safer with a little modification.
Some elderly people have mobility and balance issues and there are a number of adaptations that can be made to make the bathroom a safer place.
If the elderly person uses a bath, grab rails should be installed to make it easier for them to get in and out of the tub without slipping. Grab rails should also be fixed to the walls in the shower cubicle. It’s also a good idea to fit a shower and bathtub chair or bench so that the person can wash whilst seated, if standing for long periods is a problem for them.
Grab rails fitted by the toilet will also make it easier for the person to get to their feet, and if necessary, the toilet should be raised to a higher level.
Rubber safety mats should be fitted in baths and showers and any tiled flooring should be protected with non-slip mats or carpet tiles. Any glass shower doors should be replaced with curtains or plastic.
It’s helpful for elderly people with poor vision to have adjustable grooming mirrors installed that have a magnified face and a light.
Night lights outlining the perimeter of the room and sensor activated lights are also extremely helpful for night time bathroom visits, especially if the bathroom is accessed via a step.
Dementia sufferers often find illustrative signage on the bathroom door helpful, and it can also be a good idea to leave the door open so that it is obvious when the bathroom is vacant.
It’s a good idea to remove or reverse the locks on the bathroom door so that the person can’t lock themselves inside accidentally. Reverse locks allow home carers to lock the bathroom door from the outside to allow the user privacy but allows access in case of an emergency.
A few thoughtful adaptations to an elderly person’s bathroom could make it much safer and more practical for them to remain living at home. If you have an elderly relative who wishes to remain living at home, have a chat with our helpful team at The Great Care Company for more advice.