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Creating a Safer Bathroom for an Indiana Senior

April 12, 2016

Creating a Safer Bathroom for an Indiana Senior
If you are the adult child of an older parent, keeping them safe is probably one of your biggest concerns. For seniors, the bathroom can be a dangerous place. In fact, more accidents occur in the bathroom than any other room in the home. 85% of injuries in adults age 85 and older happen near the toilet.
 
Laminate and tile flooring can be slippery for older adults who are a little unsteady on their feet. Bathroom lighting isn’t always the best. Toilets that sit lower to the ground can be a problem for a senior with balance problems. All of these issues put seniors at higher risk for experiencing a fall.
 
5 Tips for Creating a Senior-Friendly Bathroom
 
Here are five tips to help make the bathroom a safer place for your senior loved one: 
  1. Walk-in Shower: Remodel the bathroom so your older loved one has a walk-in shower with grab bars inside and out. The goal is to create a shower that doesn’t have an edge the senior has to step over to get in to and out of the shower. A sturdy tub chair you purchase from a medical supply company can also help.
  2. Raised Toilet Seat: It can also help make the bathroom safer if you install a raised toilet seat. Take down towel bars that seniors sometimes use to pull themselves up with and replace them with sturdy grab bars on both sides of the toilet.
  3. Reorganize Supplies: Arranging bathroom essentials so the items used most often are located in easy-to-reach spots is another safety tip. You want to avoid storing supplies in places that require an older adult to use a step stool or to stretch too high or bend over too low to retrieve them.
  4. Medical Alert: While it might not be too popular with your senior family member, purchasing a waterproof medic-alert pendant is something to consider. In the event your loved one does experience a fall, it provides them with a quick, easy way to summon help.
Our fifth and final suggestion is to make sure the bathroom has good lighting. This makes it easier for older eyes to navigate the space and avoid a fall.
 
If you are concerned that an Indiana senior you love is living in an older home that is putting them at higher risk for a disabling fall, a senior living community might be a solution to consider. The environment is designed to support independent while still keeping older adults safe.