10 Essential Tips to Improve Bathroom Safety
Whether you are a senior, a person living with limited mobility, or someone who is simply having a clumsy day, the bathroom is an area of high risk, packed with potential accidents just waiting to happen. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that over 230,000 people are annually injured in this very room alone. This makes it potentially the most dangerous place in your house.
Avoid becoming a statistic and protect your family against unwanted accidents with this quick list of 10 safety upgrade ideas for your bathroom:
1. Install Handrails Everywhere
By placing a handrail next to every major bathroom location (such as the tub, the shower, the toilet etc) you are essentially extending out a permanent helping hand to whoever is in need. You can get these fitted by a professional for an additional guarantee of safety or buy and install them yourself.
2. Ensure Your Lighting is Adequate
As one gets older, there are many physical changes which take place, including the worsening of the eyesight and the need to visit the bathroom more frequently. These two ailments may conspire together at night time leaving you blindly fumbling through the darkness just to get to the toilet. Consider purchasing LED motion activated lights to illuminate the journey, and ensure that the bathroom itself is bright enough for everyone who lives with you.
3. Be Aware of the Small Obstacles
It’s easy to forget that those little objects cluttered around the house could become life-threatening trip hazards. Whether a loose mat, a nomadic power cord, or your endless collection of nearly empty shower bottles, these items can quickly find their way beneath a foot and cause a terrifying incident. As a rule, there should be a clear path from any side of the bathroom to the other at all times.
4. Be Aware of the Big Obstacles
When it comes to bigger obstacles (for example, the tub or the shower), you can’t exactly remove them, hence why you’ve got to be a little smarter with your approach. To avoid falling over the side of the bath, a set of steps should do a trick, while an eye-level sticker on the shower door could prevent someone from accidentally walking through it.
5. Keep the Bathroom Clean
Eliminating unnecessary clutter is a large part of the battle, but don’t forget that some of the worst threats are not so easily noticed. Some slimy mildew in the shower, a lost squirt of soap, or a small puddle left on the floor are all fast routes to a horizontal position. Keep a towel handy to immediately wipe up any spillages and clean the room often!
6. Use Bathroom Mats
Due to the nature of bathrooms, water is going to end up on the floor from time to time. And that’s where bathroom mats come in. They provide a layer of protection between your step and a slippery surface, while also blessing your toes with a nice soft place to nuzzle. On that topic, there are also various textured shower mats available for much the same reason.
7. Use a Shower Seat
For those people with any mobility concerns (whether it be from age or injury), the luxury of a shower may seem like a risk not worth taking. Thankfully, the safest solution is the simplest one: purchase a shower seat. There are many different designs on the market, each boasting their own useful features (such as handles or folding capabilities for storage convenience) but any waterproof chair will do really.
8. Focus on Easy Access
For older adults who struggle to get around easily, rearranging the bathroom setup itself may help. Are all the shelves reachable? Is the toilet paper close enough to the toilet? Do they have to bend down to retrieve certain products? What would happen if they dropped the soap? These may seem like simple problems to you, but for others, they could lead to serious injury.
9. Purchase a Raised Toilet Seat
The shorter the journey to the toilet, the less chance that something might go wrong. When someone has problems with their joints or any mobility restrictions, this minor addition can make all of the difference. Get the seat measured by the individual’s ideal height, and then leave them to their business without any interference.
10. Install a Medical Alert System
Finally, you will rest much easier in the knowledge that a bathroom alert system is always at arm’s reach. If an accident takes place, one simple tug of a cord will notify an emergency contact of your choice, and this could be a genuine lifesaver when no one else is around.