Although the rhetoric of being safer at home is being emphasized in light of the global pandemic, the truth is that our houses may have hidden dangers that can put our well-being at risk. Whether you're approaching the age of 65, you use a wheelchair, or you're one of the 11.6 million people who use canes, walkers, or crutches, it's important to think of safety first when you take a closer look at your domicile.
One smart place to start is your main bathroom. We use this space on a regular basis for essential purposes, but it may be more hazardous than you'd think. Even if you don't currently have limited mobility, it often pays to plan ahead when renovating or making adjustments to the bathroom. By doing so, you can prevent or reduce the risk of slips, falls, and other accidents. Here are just a few ways you can address the most common bathroom safety hazards in relatively simple ways.
Install Non-Slip Surfaces and Grab BarsTile floors are common in bathrooms, as they're easy to clean and won't react negatively to moisture. However, these flooring options can also become very slippery. Adding floor rugs may not always improve the issue, as floor coverings can actually increase the chance of a bathroom fall. And of course, tubs and showers may also be made of materials that can make an accident more likely to occur.
One of the main solutions here is to install non-slip flooring materials or to add more non-slip protection to what's already there. If you're keeping bathroom rugs, make sure they have slip-resistant backings or can otherwise be secured with some kind of double-sided tape or tacking. You should also put some non-slip tiles, mats, or strips in the tub or shower and install grab bars or rails around the shower, tub, and toilet. Should you still slip on the floor, you'll be able to grab hold of the bar or rail to prevent a more substantial accident.
Utilize Shower Chair Seats or Bath BenchesShower chair seats and bath benches are ideal for those who might experience issues with their balance. Using the shower or getting in and out of the tub can be particularly dangerous actions for many people, but you can minimize your chance of a fall by installing shower chair seats or bathtub benches. These features can also allow you to shower or bathe in a seated position, which may be helpful or necessary with those with limited mobility or who need assistance with these tasks. Make sure to obtain shower chair replacement parts and to check other bathing aids regularly to ensure these will provide the maximum amount of protection and efficiency.
Improve Bathroom Lighting and AccessibilityIf your bathroom is dim or cluttered, these conditions will make it more likely for an accident to occur. In addition to installing shower chair seats and non-slip flooring components, you'll also want to prioritize improved lighting and organization. You should ensure that your bathroom is well-lit and that you include items like night lights or glow-in-the-dark stickers throughout the room and the hallway to illuminate your path at night. You'll also want to keep the bathroom tidy, as clutter can be a real tripping hazard. Make sure to dry all surfaces thoroughly and to place toiletries and other necessities within close reach to avoid strenuous movements or the possibility of a slip when reaching for an item.
Your home should be a place where you can feel protected. With these bathroom safety tips in mind, you'll increase accessibility in this space and lower the risk of accidents for the foreseeable future.