INSTALL GRAB BARS
Grab bars give you something to hold when you’re getting into
and out of the shower. They also offer a way to catch yourself if
you’re about to fall. Add grab bars and safety rails to the shower/
tub and near the toilet. Make sure they’re anchored well enough
to support an adult’s weight.
ADD NON-SKID SURFACES
While skid-proof decals are a step in the right direction, they
don’t cover the entire bathtub surface, so slips are still possible.
Look instead for a mat that covers the surface of the bathtub
floor. Likewise, you may want to add a mat with a rubber backing
to the bathroom floor.
PUT IN NIGHTLIGHTS
For those middle-of-the-night trips back and forth to the
bathroom, nightlights add illumination that can make all the
difference between seeing your way safely to the restroom
and tripping on something along the way.
LOWER THE WATER TEMPERATURE
Set the whole-house water heater temperature to 120 degrees
Fahrenheit or lower so that an elderly person is less likely
to get burned.
Extended periods of standing to brush teeth, wash up for bed,
etc., can be wearying to an elderly body. Add seating to the
bathroom so a person can sit while getting ready. Likewise,
consider adding a shower chair with a rigid back that allows
for a seated position while showering.
RAISE THE TOILET SEAT
To prevent overexertion from having to go to the bathroom, add
a raised toilet seat that makes sitting down and getting up much
easier. For anyone with knee pain, hip pain, joint pain, etc., this
can be a great, practical way to improve bathroom safety.
HAVE ITEMS WITHIN REACH
Whether it’s shampoo and conditioner easily reachable in the
shower, or toothpaste and soap easy accessible at the sink,
keep items in the places where you use them. This helps
eliminate unnecessary reaching, searching and standing
— and the potential for accidents that comes with them.
In some cases, the best and most important way to protect a
senior citizen in the bathroom is through the care of a loved
one. Whether it’s a relative, friend or home health aide, having
someone nearby greatly reduces the chance of serious injury.
SAFETY TIPS FOR
Creating a safe home environment for senior citizens starts with the bathroom
— the place where, for the elderly, most at-home accidents occur. Whether it’s
a slip in the shower or tripping on the way to the restroom at night, falls and
injuries are especially common in the bathroom. To improve bathroom safety at
home, you need to know how to handle the hazards. Here are some important
bathroom safety tips to help keep you or your loved ones safe: