Bathroom Safety for Seniors

13 Tips for Preventing Falls and Increasing Safety in Your Senior’s Home

Bathroom Safety for Seniors: 13 tips for preventing falls and increasing safety

For many seniors, staying at home is the most economical and desirable living arrangement. But without proper preparation, home can also be surprisingly dangerous. Consider these facts:

  • 6 out of every 10 falls happens at home
  • 1 out of 3 adults over 65 will get injured in fall
  • Falls are the leading cause of nonfatal and fatal injuries in elderly adults

The good news is that many home injuries are preventable. The bathroom is a great place to start. With hard, slick surfaces that frequently get wet and slippery, bathrooms can be danger zones. A little work, however, goes a long way toward creating a safe, comfortable environment.

8 Small Projects to Prevent Injury

These projects and purchases can be completed by most homeowners in a weekend, and make a big difference in your loved one’s safety.

  • Put non-slip pads or strips on the bathtub or shower floor.
  • Remove bathmats or area rugs that could cause trips and falls.
  • Install grab bars and/or safety rails in the bath or shower and near the toilet. Safety bars should be long and wide enough to grasp easily, be covered in a non-slippery grip, and be well-anchored enough to hold an adult’s weight.
  • Get a toilet safety frame or raised seat to add stability while using the toilet. Two options are molded plastic and the adjustable variety; both will add between 3 and 6 inches to the toilet.
  • Buy a shower stool, seat, or transfer bench. It should have a rigid seat and back, and rubber tips on the feet to prevent slipping.
  • Make sure toiletries and supplies are within easy reach.
  • Set the water heater to 120 degrees or lower to prevent scalding.
  • Add nightlights or motion lighting to the bathroom to ensure it’s well lit even at night. Think about lighting the path from your loved one’s bedroom to the bathroom, as well. Don’t forget to ensure that any and all light switches are easily accessible.

5 Bigger Projects to Senior-Proof your Bathroom

These projects may require professional help, but can also play a big role in making your loved one’s bathroom as safe as possible.

  • Hang the door so that it opens outwards in case of a fall (if necessary). Remove any door locks.
  • Install a hand-held shower nozzle, which can be simpler to use while sitting down.
  • Replace glass shower doors with plastic or shower curtains.
  • Create a tub cut out. Lower one side of the tub so that it’s easier for seniors to get in and out.
  • Install a walk-in tub. Updating your bathroom with a complete walk-in tub isn’t cheap, but it is a very effective way to make it easier for seniors to bathe. Expect the cost of the tub and installation to range anywhere from $3000 to $15,000. If this is beyond your price point, consider these 5 alternatives to walk-in tubs.

Remaining in the home can provide seniors with a strong sense of comfort and confidence. By following the tips listed above, you can help make sure that your loved one stays safe as well as satisfied.

If You’re Looking to Keep Your Loved One at Home Longer

Most people looking at projects like these are trying to keep their loved one at home but may still need some assistance.  If this is the case, you can get help from In-Home Care professionals to assist with pretty much anything you need. From helping with doctor visits, taking medicine, making meals or just having someone to talk to, In-Home Care is a great alternative to moving into a Senior Living facility.  here are some more articles about In-Home Care near you:

In-Home Care in Chicago

In-Home Care in Houston

In-Home Care in Los Angeles

In-Home Care in New York

In-Home Care in Atlanta

In-Home Care in Saint Louis

In-Home Care in Philadelphia

In-Home Care in San Diego

In-Home Care in Dallas

In-Home Care in Minneapolis

In-Home Care in Denver

In-Home Care in Madison

In-Home Care in San Antonio

In-Home Care in Portland

In-Home Care in Cincinnati

In-Home Care in Miami

 


Visit SeniorAdvisor.com to read reviews and find information about assisted living in San Diego and other cities.

16 Comments

  1. Scott French December 5, 2014 Reply

    The TubcuT is the original Tub cutting product. Our process is the only one that is reversible, so once you no longer need the cut out, your bathtub can be returned to it’s original condition. The Tubcut along with some grab bars, a bath seat, handheld shower and non-slip bath mat and you are well on your way to a much safer bathroom.

  2. Robin B June 2, 2015 Reply

    Great article. Do wooden bath seats like these create a lot of mold?

  3. Matthew June 18, 2015 Reply

    It is strange to think the smallest room in the house is the most dangerous, especially for the elderly. Matt

  4. Geofrey July 3, 2015 Reply

    Being aware of above bathroom security tips can help stop slips and falls that take place in the bathroom and induce critical injuries..

  5. Barbara November 18, 2015 Reply

    What are the reasons behind replacing the shower doors with curtains? We currently have curtains in my mother’s home but my brother is insisting that we need to install shower doors to make it safer for her.

    • James December 26, 2015 Reply

      That was my question too. Seems to me shower curtains would be more dangerous. My mother has already fallen out of the shower once because when she lost her balance, the shower curtains offered no resistance/support for her when she braced herself and fell out of the tub.

  6. Rosalinda Mullings February 3, 2016 Reply

    I quite like reading through a post that will make men and women think.
    Also, many thanks for allowing me to comment!

  7. Seema Tiwari February 17, 2016 Reply

    Exactly….I am agree with your information. Most of people using luxury bathroom but they forget the safety of bathroom. It could be dangerous for the bathroom users. Because bathroom slipping is most common incident in daily life so we should use the Best BATH GRIPS in our bathroom because it give us support in bathroom. We can purchase it on supplified.com which is India’s largest online store.

  8. wilfred w March 9, 2016 Reply

    We were redesigning our bathroom not so long ago and got rid of our traditional tub. We bought walk in tub and for now (2 years and counting) we can not be happier about that decision.

    I must say my daughters love it… even too much 😉

  9. Andrew June 29, 2016 Reply

    Some other “smaller” considerations would be a bathtub lift chair or a sliding transfer bench. These are great alternatives to a walk in tub and help save significantly on cost because they use your existing tub.

    Hope this helps!

    Andrew

  10. Helene October 20, 2016 Reply

    An excellent and very helpful guide. Many thanks.

  11. jresquival November 22, 2016 Reply

    Oh wow, I didn’t know walk-in bathtubs cost $3000. It seems like a really easy way to increase senior safety though! My great grandma would feel a little more independent if she could walk into the tub herself.

  12. Fletcher January 10, 2017 Reply

    I completely agree that resident behavior is critical to keeping mold out of a bathroom, as well as ensuring the successful of operation of any part of green building, however, just because you teach someone how to properly turn off a light when not using a room or leaving the house, doesn’t necessarily mean that you install an incandescent over an LED. Or just because you teach someone that they can keep their thermostat at 65 if they wear a sweatershirt and slippers in the home as opposed to their tank top doesn’t mean you put in electric resistant baseboard heat either.
    So, let’s say that are writing this spec for a city or state program and you wanted to make sure you did everything possible to make sure it stayed mold-free, but left the resident as a variable you couldn’t control due to the size of the program, and your inability to personally go out and visit each resident and instruct them on the best practices of keeping a bathroom mold-free. What precautions in materials and methods that you would take? Where is the cut-off in terms of cost-benefit?
    I understand there is not a definitive answer here, because the resident will always be a variable to a degree. I just want to know what the great minds out there think is a reasonable strategy to ensure a relatively mold-proof bathroom.
    Thanks!

  13. Mary Alice Kiehl April 5, 2017 Reply

    I have been searching for recommendations for removing glass shower doors. I am quite the advocate for this BR safety plan. If you were to witness the elderly showering/bathing, they continue with instilled, routine habits. They reach for towel bars (not grab bars) they reach for nozzles, and they reach for non-secured glass doors, etc. The glass doors remain effective for water barrier and even with non-shattering glass, are not meant to be secure to break a fall. This ends up dangerous if a person fell through them or provided enough weight to shatter the glass. As with many routine daily tasks, the elderly require new education and training in effective safe transfer methods and incorporation of Sturdy Equipment to increase their independence and remain in their home. New learning for the Elderly takes a bit of time, but proper selection of safety devices and their placement, plus adequate training is core. I work in the field of Occupational Therapy and my goal is for those who can, to remain and age, safely in their home.

  14. Grace Ann Smith September 8, 2017 Reply

    I agree. Bathroom fall accident is one of the problems or causes of injury among Seniors and home care has been so helpful for many years in providing safety for people who need care and assistance especially old ones. Cheers to that. Great lists and thanks for bringing out this topic.

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