If you have an elderly loved one that is not ready to move out of the home yet, you need to figure out ways that you can make their home as safe as possible for them. Since the bathroom is one of the most dangerous parts of the home for the elderly, here are five updates that you need to consider that will help your loved one maintain their sense of independence:
1. Change Cabinet and Drawer Hardware.
As your loved one gets older, their hands may have more difficulty grasping smaller cabinet and drawer knobs and handles. Therefore, it is important to consider replacing the existing knobs and handles with ones that larger and easier to use.
2. Install Grab Bars.
Since the National Council on Aging says that 25 percent of American adults at least 65 years of age will fall each year, it is very important that you take precautionary measures in the home when possible to help your aging loved you remain on their feet. A grab bar, installed in the tub/shower as well as near the toilet, can help a senior citizen catch their balance when they feel as if they are about to fall. Make sure to install these parallel to the floor.
3. Raise/Replace the Bathroom Sink.
As your loved one gets older, it will become increasingly difficult for them to bend over. So, to make it easier on them, consider having a contractor come in and raise the sink to a height that is high enough that your loved one will not have to bend over to wash their hands. If your loved one uses a wheelchair, make sure to replace the sink with one that has a wide, open bottom that will allow them to wheel right up to the sink.
4. Add a Non-Slip Mat in the Tub/Shower.
In the bathtub/shower, make sure to also install a non-slip mat. This surface is extremely slippery and can be very dangerous – if not deadly – for your elderly loved one without a non-slip mat in place.
5. Install a Walk-in Bathtub.
If you are still worried about your loved one getting in the tub or shower with a non-slip mat, or your loved one prefers baths yet hates taking baths in a low-to-the-ground traditional bathtub, you may want to consider having a walk-in bathtub installed. These bathtubs are designed with a door on the side allowing your loved one to walk in and walk out. It has a watertight seal around the door, skid-resistant flooring, and a raised seat.
All of the aforementioned updates will help your loved one age in place safely and independently. Visit websites like http://www.twincitystairlifts.com to learn more.