Though you may not expect it, the bathroom can be the most dangerous room in your house. While kitchens present the most obvious hazards, studies show that the bathroom is where the most accidents and injuries occur across all age groups and therefore it should be the topsoil of your worry pyramid. This is due to slippery surfaces with a lack of grip.
Whether you’re getting older or simply want to make your bathroom accessible for all ages, it’s always a good time to make your bathroom safer. There are some small common sense changes that can be made to ensure your bathroom is the sanctuary that you’d like it to be.
This article will outline key ways to maximize the safety of your bathroom.
Slippery surfaces are what make the bathroom the most dangerous room in the house, particularly for older people. The majority of accidents occur while stepping in or out of the bath or shower. Non-slip solutions like an anti slip shower tray can prevent these hazards, by awarding your shower with more grip. A non-slip shower tray is a must-have in any safe bathroom.
A bath mat can also provide grip once you’ve stepped out of the bath or shower. Many ordinary bath mats are more decorative than functional, and may only offer limited traction.
They might slide around when you need them to stay put. More effective bath mats for seniors are available, however, which will do the important job of preventing slippage by gripping to your floor and providing you with a steady surface.
31% of bathroom accidents result in injury to the head or neck. These injuries are often the result of hitting sharp edges or corners, such as the corner of the bath or shower. Softening these edges can protect you from potential harm. The best way to do this is by cushioning any sharp areas with adhesive guards, which can be bought cheaply online.
As you get older, scalding water may be another unexpected hazard. This can be easily fixed, though, by setting your water heater’s thermostat to below 120 degrees Fahrenheit, to prevent burns. This may also be particularly important if younger children are using your bathroom, to prevent scaldings.
Studies show that most bathroom accidents happen while showering or bathing, or while getting in and out of the bath or shower. Regardless of your age, grab bars (or handrails) are an essential addition to your bathroom, as they can prevent many of these accidents. Sturdy and secure slip-resistant grab bars can be bolted to a stud in your wall to provide support while showering or bathing, and can also be installed around the toilet area.
If mobility is a potential issue, a walk-in bath tub is another brilliant option for making your bathroom fit-for-purpose. They are fitted with a door at floor-level, so users don’t have to step upward at all, and can instead close the door behind themselves. Curbless showers perform a similar function, though these may come at a higher cost due to the drainage issues involved.
If you’re wondering how to make the bathroom safer for your elderly without purchasing an entirely new bath or shower, it may be possible to upgrade your existing facilities. Bath and shower seats are a smart solution to mobility issues, and can be installed in your existing bathroom. They are also available in a variety of designs, to match your current bathroom.
Dim or poor lighting makes bathrooms significantly more hazardous. Luckily, cost-effective LED lights are available, which last far longer than incandescent bulbs and are often much brighted. LEDs will ensure a well-lit room at all times and prevent fumbling around in the dark.
Despite all of these safety measures, accidents are never completely avoidable. To ensure older people can get the help they need, it may be a good idea to install a phone or a medical alert system in the bathroom if you’re concerned about the potential of a fall. There is a range of communication systems available, varying in price and features.
If you’d like to maximize the safety of your bathroom, there are a wide range of solutions available like hot tub deck ideas which will keep you away from ceramic floors and hence away from injuries. From LED lighting to walk-in tubs, you can relax in the knowledge that your bathroom is as safe as it can be. For more guidance, consider these 10 tips to make the bathroom safe.