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What are the top bathroom safety tips?

30th April 2021

The bathroom has to meet the needs of everyone, from young children to older grandparents and that can be quite tricky.

As people grow older bathrooms can become one of the most hazardous rooms in the home and it is important to future proof your bathroom to help solve any potential bathing problems. Some of the issues that are common in bathrooms include surfaces becoming wet and slippery and hard, angular fixtures and fittings.

Home safety is of utmost importance and this is especially true for those who suffer from mobility problems, who would struggle to access standard bathrooms safely.

It is important to plan for the future and to make your bathroom accessible and age-friendly, hygienic and functional. There are, of course, some obvious installations that you can add to a bathroom to ensure it is mobility-friendly such as adding walk-in showers and this guide looks at the bathroom safety tips you should consider making.

•Install a walk-in bath or shower

•Consider making the bathroom bigger

•Install bathroom grab bars

•Keep your bathroom well lit

•Put commonly used items in easy to reach areas

•Consider a non-slip bath mat for inside or outside the bath

Install a walk-in bath or shower

An easy access bath for older people is a must-have as this will help people avoid slipping and falling over and for those suffering from mobility problems, it makes life easier to get in and out of the bath.

There is a range of walk-in baths and showers on offer that have been designed to put the ease, comfort and independence back into showering and bathing.

A new accessible bath will mean older people can enjoy one of life’s great pleasures without having to worry about slipping over.

Below are some of the walk-in baths and showers you can buy:

The Ingleton

The Hardraw

The Huron Bath

The Como Bath

Consider making the bathroom bigger

Bathrooms are the engine rooms of the home, but they are often the smallest rooms in the house. If they are too small, then it is certainly worth considering making them bigger.

There are lots of bathroom specialists and builders available to suggest ways in which older people can make their bathrooms bigger. This might be shifting or removing an internal wall or even making a slight extension to make the bathroom that little bit bigger.

Lifestyle and design blogger Melanie, who runs the Melanie Jade Design blog, renovated her bathroom and she recommends that people considering changing their bathroom needs create a floorplan before starting on any work.

“The first decision we had to make regarding our bathroom renovation was the floor plan. We currently had a bath running along the left-hand wall with an airing cupboard at the foot of the bath, a sink under the window with the toilet to the right. We needed to decide whether we wanted to keep this set up with the storage space or find a different layout.”

Install bathroom grab bars

Older people who struggle to get from a seated position to a standing position will benefit from bathroom grab bars as they will provide something for them to hold onto.

If you are looking into bathroom grab bar installation, then it is best to install one on the outside of the shower and on each interior wall so those with mobility problems can safely navigate the space. The grab bars can even double as towel or robe racks.

Deb Hallisey, who has been a carer for her disabled mother and is the author of the Advocate for Mom and Dad blog, talks about how her mothers home had grab bars installed.

“The truth is there is much you can do to be proactive about safety without making major renovations. However, if you are going to change anything, the places to focus are the bathroom and kitchen. Dad made sure the bathroom was remodelled. He took out the tub, put in a walk-in shower with a seat and grab bars, lots of grab bars. Mum is unsteady standing too long and unsteady as she goes in and out of the front door and that worries me. We recently had a conversation about putting grab bars in additional places.”

Keep your bathroom well lit

As people grow older it is natural for their sight to deteriorate slightly and this is why your bathroom needs to be well-lit as better lighting means less strain on your eyes.

There are so many bathroom lighting ideas that you can look at and you will find a solution that fits your needs, but good lighting can come in many forms, including recessed lighting, vanity lighting, lamps and natural light.

With good lighting in a bathroom, people can spot water on the floor and will be able to avoid any accidents occurring. You should also think about adding lights inside an enclosed shower to make sure that it is lit up enough.

Painting walls and skirting boards a different colour can also help older people who suffer from a visual impairment differentiate between other parts of the bathroom.

Put commonly used items in easy to reach areas

It might seem like a simple tip, but it is something that can easily be forgotten. Putting commonly used items like toothbrushes, hand soaps, towels and flannels in easy to reach areas can help older people who suffer from mobility problems.

Putting commonly used items in easy to reach areas means older people don’t have to bend down or stretch to get items and therefore lessens the chances of them getting injured.

It is also vital that there are no trip hazards on the bathroom floor as this can cause a potential accident, especially for those suffering from mobility problems.

Consider a non-slip bath mat for inside or outside the bath

A non-slip bath mat can be a beneficial addition to a bathroom for an older person with mobility problems as it can reduce the likelihood of somebody slipping over.

There are different types of non-slip bath mats available and they come in all different shapes and sizes so it is important that you look around and research a mat that best suits your bathroom

All My Home Needs, a source for informational articles on topics related to the home, talks about why a non-slip bath mat is useful.

“Everyone really should have a non-slip bath mat and you can actually find some modern, even quite cool designs if you look past the frogs and flowers. As an alternative to a mat, you can find sticker type anti-slip pads. These are individual shapes or designs that you stick to the surface of the bath to give added grip – great for kids and adults.”

This article looks at just some popular bathroom safety tips that people can consider for their own home. To read similar blogs, you can read the Mobility News section on our website.  

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.