The Most Dangerous Room In Your House

One of the most important aspects of caring for an elderly or aging loved one is making sure that they remain safe, while at the same time maintaining as much independence as possible. Making some basic changes around the house can go a long way toward keeping seniors safe while independent. One of the most important rooms to focus on is the bathroom.

It’s no secret that the bathroom is the most dangerous room in the house, but the dangers there are multiplied for the elderly. Slick, wet surfaces, small spaces, and hard appliances make the bathroom the number one danger for seniors in the home. Falls in the bathroom make up the single largest cause of hip fractures in Americans ages 65 and up.

Bathroom Senior Living

Grab bars are an easy fix, but one that can make a real difference. Install them in the bathtub/shower, and don’t forget to put them on the wall where they can be held while getting in and out of the tub. Bathrooms are often too cramped for using a walker, so it can be helpful to place grab bars at the doorway and along the length of the room, to help your elderly loved one maneuver. And don’t forget to place one near the toilet, low enough to provide leverage for lifting oneself from a seated position.

Get rid of throw rugs in the bathroom, they’re a tripping hazard that you don’t need. Keep a heavy rubber lined bath mat in front of the tub to prevent slips on a wet floor. Line the bottom of the bathtub with no-slip decals or a large rubber bath mat to prevent slipping. Remember that a bath is much easier than a shower, so install shelves for soap and shampoo that are low enough to reach without standing up. Handheld shower nozzles are a huge help, especially when a chair becomes required in the shower. They’re easy to install and simple to use.

Install a sensor on a light in the bathroom that will automatically light the room when you enter it, and keep dim nightlights plugged into light the way. Keep supplies that are frequently used close at hand in a spot that doesn’t require bending or reaching. Baskets are ideal for the counter-top to hold small grooming items and prevent them from falling and becoming something else to trip over. Replace glass containers on the counter-top with unbreakable plastic cups, and stick a piece of adhesive backed rubber cut to fit on the bottom to keep them in place.

With a little common sense and thoughtful planning, you can maintain your elderly loved one’s independence while providing a safe environment for them. Just a few do-it-yourself hours over a weekend can save you loads of worry. Your bathroom doesn’t have to be the most dangerous room in the house.

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