As much as they wouldn’t like to admit it themselves, the elderly are some of the most vulnerable people in society. Stairs can rapidly transform from a cruise to the first floor, to an everyday obstacle. The same can be said for bathrooms. And that is why it is so important to know how to adapt bathrooms in the most effective way to eliminate daily hazards. The measures taken, of course, depend on the state of the person’s mobility and health. With that in mind, here is a range of options for adapting a bathroom for an elderly person.
Walk in bath/ shower
Walk-in options are a minimalist yet effective way to make baths and showers more easily accessible. They don’t carry the same stigma (and association with assisted living) as bath seats, boards and joists do, yet they make the transition into the bath equally as easy. Walk-in baths remove the hurdling of the bath walls that can become so imposing as agility deteriorates with age. Simply walk straight in and take a seat and wait for the warm, bubbling water to rise.
Bath lifts and hoists
Naturally though, there are circumstances where more drastic changes are required. Bath lifts and hoists can be a saviour for those with very limited mobility, providing them with the ability to wash unaided. Lifts and hoists vary from metal and motorised to inflatable cushions.
For those who are slightly unsteady on their feet, grab rails are straightforward additions to shore up a bathroom. Grab rails with suction pads are ideal for re-positioning and when you are on the move, but they don’t quite offer the solidity and stability of fixed rails. Stuck for where exactly to put them? If you have any doubts or concerns, it is always worth enlisting the help of an occupational therapist to ensure everything is up to scratch. Where the welfare of your relative is concerned, you can’t afford to be unsure.
An extractor fan is an unobtrusive and inexpensive way to dramatically reduce the risk of slipping. It is a nightmarish thought to think of someone we care about being rooted to the floor after a fall. The installation of an extractor fan goes a long in allaying these fears. By removing the steam generated by a hot bath or shower quickly, the moisture that would otherwise accumulate on bathroom surfaces is eliminated, dramatically reducing the chance of slipping.
The extractor fan on its own will not completely remove slipping as a hazard, and further precautions like non-slip flooring are a sensible way to go. Non-slip flooring can be relatively cheap, but if you insist on cutting costs, you can cover the most at-risk areas with strategically placed mats. Another alternative is non-slip tape, which is equally effective. There does come a point where you don’t want to compromise on the look of the bathroom however, and there are a range of sleek non-slip tiles available to buy.
Regardless of how you elect to customise your bathroom, it is pointless without having a powerful source of steaming hot water you can rely on. A twin impeller shower pump can provide you with reliable sources of both hot and cold water, all but eliminating disappointing lukewarm baths and showers.