Bathroom is the basic necessity of anyone all around the world. The bathroom becomes even more important when you have elderly person in your family. It is very dangerous when an elderly person, and for that matter anyone falls in bathrooms and has some serious injury. But the injury or the damage is more risky and dangerous when this happens in old age. The bathroom accident is really very dangerous and one can get hurt seriously and generally the fractures due to bathroom accident are in hips area which becomes really very very difficult to repair.
You must design or redesign your bathroom and they must be bathroom accident safe and elderly person friendly.
Here are six main tips to make the bathroom accident safe and even more importantly elderly person friendly.
1.Separate Bathing area and WC & Wash Basin Area.
It is normal in Western Countries but in some regions we have bathroom having bathing area and other areas merged together. The first thing we must do is to have separate areas for bathing activity and separate area for non bathing activity. This you can divide by having a glass partition or by any other way. Incase, you do not want to immediately invest in the glass partition and the gate, you can hand a full length bathroom curtain. By full length I mean to say that the bathroom curtain should touch the floor of the bathing area so that minimum water flows towards WC and Washbasin area.
Also keep the water wiper handy in your bathroom so that anyone using the bathroom wipes the spilled water from the floor. The spilled water on the floor is the most dangerous thing in any bathroom. Spilled water accounts for most of the bathroom accidents all over the world.
2. Install sufficient handle bars/grab bars in your bathroom.
Bathroom accidents happens inside the bathroom when the person is alone in the bathroom and when he falls on the bathroom floor. Normally it has been seen that the bathroom walls do not have any holding bars. Whenever the person using the bathroom looses his or her balance, the accident can be avoided when he/she has something to hold and regain the balance. Unfortunately, there are no bars or no sufficient handle bars in the bathroom all over the world.
Main areas you must have the handle bars:
a) One very near to the door or the entrance of the bathroom. – So that incase the floor is wet or slippery and you or the senior member of your family enter the bathroom from a dry floor on a wet floor and you loose your grip, there is something you can hold to protect yourself from falling.
b) One near the Wash Basin. – Imagine you just finished using the wash basin. While turning around you or the elderly member loose balance. One must have something to get hold of.
c) One near or around the WC. – After using the WC when trying to stand up, the elderly person due to weakness may not stand up firmly. He/She may need something to hold and maintain the balance.
d) Few in the bathing area. – The bathing areas are normally wet. After or during the bath the water is mixed with soapy water which becomes even more slippery. You mush have some handle bars around in the bathing area.
3. Install the “Wall Mounted Folding Seats” in bathing area.
The elderly person are generally weak in legs and various reflexes in case of sudden emergency. They may not be able to hold themselves and take the shower or the bath. In such cases the wall mounted folding seats becomes very handy and useful. They can just drop down the folding seat and take a decent bath. The same bathing area can be used by other members of the family by just folding the seat and use the area as he feels like. For a change can enjoy the bath seating on the folding seat as well.
4. Sufficient Light and convenient Light Switches.
However, this is very less in present days. But in older times bathrooms were not properly lit. It is very important that the bathrooms are nicely lit with sufficient lights. You will feel nice using bathrooms with proper lights and in bonus they will prevent bathroom accidents for elderly members or anyone else. So, ensure that the bathroom has sufficient and proper lights.
Secondly or firstly the electrical switch must be extremely convenient to use, preferably outside the bathroom so that the lights can be switched on before entering the bathroom.
The eye vision or eye sight of the elderly people is weak. Imagine that in emergency they enter the bathroom without their spectacles and above that the bathroom is poorly lit. This situation becomes very dangerous even when you have a dry floor and everything else is perfect. The risk increases when floor is wet and few things are left here and there on the floor.
5. Anti Skid Floor in the bathroom.
It is always good to have an anti skid floor in your bathroom. Above that you must put anti skid mat on the bathroom floor if you have elderly member using the bathroom. This is a very useful investment specially when you have some one old in your family.
The senior member of your family who is old and weak in legs, or has some knee ailment may find it difficult to get from the WC. It is strongly recommended to have a WC seat height enhancement seat attachment. You can place this seat on your existing WC without disturbing the bathroom. The tool can be used by the elderly person only and other members of the family can use the WC as usual.
These are few basic changes you can make to your existing bathroom and avoid or prevent the bathroom accident specially when you have elderly senior members in the family. Surely you must be having few tips and ideas on this. Kindly be generous to leave your ideas and tips in the comments below which can be useful to other members as well.