Guest Post: How to Make a Bathroom Safe for Seniors

If you have a senior in your life, then it is essential that you are fully aware of fall prevention tips that can help stop your senior from falling and hurting themselves. Falls are extremely significant in the senior community and can lead to serious injuries or hospitalizations.

According to the National Council on Aging, around 25% of senior Americans fall every year, and every 19 minutes a senior dies from a fall. Once every 11 seconds, a senior goes to the ER for a fall-related injury. Falls are serious and while some falls only result in minor injuries, serious falls can be fatal.

The number one place in the home that falls occur is the bathroom.

This is why there is no better place to safety-proof the home for seniors than the bathroom. This is because bathrooms can be hazardous for seniors, particularly with balance issues or walking difficulties. Plus, there are plenty of hazards in the bathroom that can make already unstable seniors more likely to fall.

If you are looking for ways to help make the bathroom safe for seniors, here are a few safety-proofing tips that you can utilize that will make the bathroom a much safer place.

Install Grab Bars

Grab bars are some of the most important additions to any bathroom. Seniors who have poor balance can rely on these bars for support, so they can pull themselves up from the toilet and enter and exit the shower with ease. It is important to note that grab bars are not the same as towel bars. If seniors try to use towel bars as a support, it could result in serious injury. Towel bars are only meant to support a few pounds, not an entire adult human.

Tip for installing grab bars: make sure they are slip-resistant and easy-to-see. Bolted grab bars are the best and safest option and more durable than suction grab bars.

Install Non-Slip Mats

Non-slip mats can go in the bottom of the tub or shower. As the name suggests these mats are designed to provide a non-slip surface for seniors to stand on, so when they are wet from the shower they won’t accidentally slip and fall. This is great way to reduce the fall risk on slippery wet tiles.

Tip for adding non-slip mats to the bathroom: make sure you not only put the mats inside the shower, but outside as well.

Get a Solid Shower Chair

A shower chair is a great investment for seniors, as they can provide a sense of stability during showers. Seniors can sit instead of stand while they shower and don’t have to worry about balance issues getting in their way.

Tips for choosing a good shower chair: look for one with rubber ribs on the legs and one wide enough for the senior to sit and shower in comfortably.

Install a Raised Toilet Seat

Raised toilets are a simple, yet effective way to make any bathroom more senior-friendly. Many seniors actually fall when trying to lower themselves down on or raise themselves up from a normal toilet seat. Raised toilet sets can be about 3-4 inches taller and are much easier to maneuver.

Tip for adding a raise toilet seat: find one with built in grab bars to add more security and reduce the fall risk even more.

In addition to implementing these safety improvements, it is important that seniors who are fall-prone are not only extra careful in the bathroom, but that they make sure someone is nearby when they use the bathroom as well. One of the main reasons that falls can be so detrimental to seniors is that they often happen when seniors are alone and no one is there to help them. However, if you safety-proof the bathroom you can significantly reduce the chances of your loved one experiencing a fall in the bathroom.

 

About the author: SeniorAdvice.com is an authoritative and trusted site in the senior care and housing space and writes extensively on retirement and financial planning.

Bathroom remodeling notes from the past, present and future

I have bathroom envy.

Our home was built in 1960, so our bathroom is cozy, and is one thing that will be addressed in any remodeling if it’s going to be our forever home.

So you can imagine that I’m a sucker for all of the bathroom slide shows that feature soaking tubs, big windows, and amenities that bring a spa-like feel. If you are like me, then this article about modern shower doors is right up your alley.

While any future remodel will pit my taste versus my wife’s taste, it won’t feature any input from the former tenant, unlike this couple you might have seen on our Twitter feed.

A couple remodeling their bathroom found a sassy note from the previous owners, questioning why their 1995 job wasn’t good enough. It’s pretty funny.

“Hi! We’re the Shinsekis! We remodeled this bathroom summer 1995,” the note says. “If you’re reading this, that means you’re remodeling the bathroom again. What’s wrong with the way we did it?”

Whether you are looking big picture like the couple, or maybe smaller-scale like me, cost will be of paramount importance.

An article from KJZZ explores the concept of whether home remodeling is recession proof.

Conventional wisdom held that people will remodel more during a recession and look to upgrade through purchasing a new home during prosperous times. But people are currently remodeling at a pace normally seen during a recession. So what gives?

We hope we’ve given you something to think about. Have a good week!

Popular home remodeling trends for 2018

July is almost here, which means we are almost halfway through the year. What better time than now to look at the remodeling trends so far in 2018?

A HomeAdvisor article that appears on the Bristol Herald Courier’s website lists the top trends in home remodeling, and it features some classics and some new demands.

First up are outdoor spaces. As the article notes, since our phones can do anything, we are all free to enjoy our entertainment with the elements. More people are adding outdoor kitchens to complement improved seating and entertainment spaces under the sun and clouds.

Speaking of kitchens, more people are embracing the open floor plan, and with that comes updates to the kitchen. Whether it is adding smart elements, more storage, or a dedicated workspace, like the article says, kitchens will continue to be a priority for remodelers.

Rounding out the top 3 are bathrooms. More people are looking to expand their bathrooms for many reasons, like adding luxury, aging in place, or universal design. All three can improve accessibility, safety, and style.

If this talk of trends sounds a little familiar, you are right, because back in February we outlined some early trends, which included smart home upgrades. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

More ways to save

No matter the year, saving money is always in style.

Reader’s Digest has a list of 32 (!!!) ways to save during a home renovation, so chances are you will find something you haven’t thought of. Some of the tips are a little far out there, so be sure to check with your contractor before taking a task upon yourself.

Have a great week!

 

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