As Americans begin to enter their later years, many have a strong desire to stay in their homes rather than transition to an assisted living or nursing facility.
However, it's important for family members to help ensure that the home is a safe place for a loved one who may have health and safety concerns.
The bathroom is one area that may need to be modified to prevent injury.
Read on for tips to help your family member stay safe in the bathroom as he or she ages.
Install Safety Grab Bars
Make sure that your loved one has something solid to hold onto to prevent falls by using grab bars. These are especially important in the shower, but also around the sink and toilet. Test regularly to make sure they can sufficiently support weight in the event of a fall.
Get Rid of Rugs
While bathmats are decorative and provide warmth and comfort, they can also be dangerous for people who aren't so steady on their feet. Replace them with skid-proof mats that will remain in place and help to prevent falls with their sturdy surfaces. Again, these should go in the shower, in front of the sink, and any other area with high traffic.
Let There Be Light
Make sure that bulbs in overhead lights are changed regularly. Consider installing nightlights both outside and inside the bathroom so that your loved one can easily find the way even at night. Additional lights can increase visibility for those with compromised vision.
Consider placing a stool in the shower so that an older adult can sit down and bathe themselves. This is important if your loved has trouble standing for extended periods or is unsteady on his or her feet.
Check Faucets Regularly
The hot and cold faucets should be clearly marked in large letters that are easy to see. Make sure that the water heater is at a safe temperature to avoid scalding. Regularly check the faucet handles to make sure they are easy to use and in good repair.
These five simple steps can help ensure that aging relatives remain safe, particularly if they live home alone. Even if your family members are still relatively healthy, being prepared for any health situation that arises is essential to protect their well-being.
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