According to the Home Safety Council, falls are the leading cause of home injury deaths among seniors. These falls typically occur when the individual tries to grab unstable objects, such as towel bars or a sliding shower door, for support. Customizing your bathroom to accommodate older family members does not have to entail a costly renovation. The following are a few simple and inexpensive ways that you can make your bathroom more senior-friendly.
• Faucets with knobs can be difficult for older adults with arthritis to operate. Consider installing a no-touch or lever faucet.
• A permanent or removable waterproof chair and hand-held shower head can make bathing safer and more convenient.
• A thick toilet seat or a higher toilet can make it easier for older adults to get up and down.
• Prevent falls by installing grab bars and rails by the toilet and in the shower or tub.
• Add non-slip rugs and shower mats in and around the shower or tub.
• Ensure that you have adequate lighting and easy-to-operate switches for nighttime trips to the bathroom.
• Enroll with a medical alert service, and install an emergency wall communicator or waterproof alert button in the bathroom.
• Reduce the temperature on your water heater to no more than 120°.
Although it is a bit more labor intensive and may require the assistance of a professional, you may want to change your current shower or bathtub for a curbless or walk-in model.