Bathroom Safety for the Elderly

Bathing and using the restroom are amongst the most challenging issues in giving care to older adults. When my mother experienced a health crisis, I had come to realize about these concerns. Her two bathrooms at home confined her from being independent in bathing and toileting. With this, I really have to do the basics like installing raised toilet seat, clearing the room for scattered rugs and getting shower seat for walk-in shower. I learned regarding bathroom specifications for elders when my Mom moved to a care retirement community. She greatly enjoyed the place especially her spacious bathroom provided with grab bars all over, various lighting types and no-threshold shower. If you can’t take them to an elderly care facility, then do the best you can with these ideas.

Elderly Couple
Photo Credit: Akash_Kurdekar

The market these days offers a wide range of selections for bathroom equipment to suit the needs of our elders specifically their safety. Remodelers and home builders have developed bathroom nowadays which could be designed with toilets, showers and tubs intended to meet the needs of old aged adults. And it is exciting to know that to consider all these items do not require much of your budget.

If you are planning to take an immediate need for remodeling or just wanted to replace some old bathroom fixtures to suit the needs of your elders, I would recommend you to check out some of the innovations in the market. In this article, I will be sharing some of the good items I have viewed in local showrooms.

Below are a few items I have viewed which I stress because of their functionality, benefits and the product description itself.

1.            Tubs. There is a variety of options when it comes to tubs and there are differentiating factors to consider when choosing. This time may come with an open-in or out door in which case the one with an open-out door is advisable especially to elders with mobility issue. Also, it is necessary to choose a type that easily fills and drains. I have viewed a model which fills within 4 minutes with heated seat. I have also seen another model which has a hydraulic lift. Some of the features would include quick drain feature, bench-less design and easy-transfer automated door that rises to close and lowers to open which allows the user to exit in seconds rather than minutes. And when I asked about the price, its $12,000. This may sound a lot of budget but taking into account the nursing care you need to spend for almost $75,000 within a year. This bathroom equipment is a great especially to elders to stay at home while ease from burden for caregivers as well as resolving safety problems of falling, slipping or risk of having injuries.

2.            Showers. Facilities in senior care communities should adhere with the requirements set by the American Disability Act (ADA) and homeowners can have it as guide. The structural constraints of home and bathroom and the person’s mobility are amongst the two factors that need to be considered. Some of the outstanding features that need to be embraced are single lever faucet, built-in shower seats, flexible shower and grab bars. One of today’s new features offer a zero threshold shower base which provides flush, integrated trench drain that is leveled with the floor to prevent water from overflowing in the rest of the bathroom area.

3.            Toilets. Recent innovations have been applied to toilets nowadays. There are toilets designed for large persons with a toilet seat of 19” side to side. Also, a taller toilet comes available. One of the most popularly used these days is the bidet toilet which unit features a panel to control water temperature, spray pressure and drying. This unit requires electricity for its operation. The bidet seat and toilet is amounting to almost $3,000 and can be bought as attachments. This type of toilet has become widely used and more suited for elderly.

If you have elderly parents, I hope that the article would help you in completing the best bathroom equipment for your aging parents to offer them the support and promote safety, quality of living and independence to them.