While checking through the bathroom-related accidents, you will find a whole long list of victims being the elderly. They are feeble, suffer from imbalance, and can’t handle the accessories in the toilet quickly.

This ultimately causes injuries and mishaps that can be fatal at times. Although anyone can face an accident in the bathroom, it is the elderly who suffer the most.

Thus, if you have a parent or a grandparent at home who is going through this fragile life period, you need to make extra preparations for such dwellers.

image - Designing Safe Toilets for the Elderly

Designing Safe Toilets for the Elderly

Everything needs must be added with precision and accuracy from the door to the tubs, from the faucets to the grab bars.

Points to Ponder

  • To create a comfort zone with the passing age, keep in mind the changing living physical conditions of the occupants.
  • Adding too many accessories is not the solution; adding safe tools is the best solution.
  • Instead of going for the latest, opt the universal designs to make them feel at ease.
  • Keep enough space for wheelchair and walker that assists them in a good walk.
  • Ensure better circulation and easy roaming to prevent injuries.

The Safety Measures

Access

The first thing that you need to keep in mind is how to access the bathroom. Make sure the entrance has no such item that can cause tripping and fall like the foot mats.

Add light on the way to the toilet so the elderly will not face problems with the darkness. Adding auto-on lights is an excellent choice as they will not have to search for the switches if they go to the toilet independently.

There should be no obstruction for the wheelchairs as well.


Read Also:


Doors

The bathroom doors must be simple to operate. Making things complex just for impression can be a problem for elderly users.

The lever knobs must be simple, too, so that they do not fear getting locked in the bathroom.

Floors

Bathroom floors keep getting puddles of water. If the shower area is not separate, the soap will start accumulating on the floor too.

This can cause severe slip and trip. It is better to check for non-slip materials.

Floors made with ceramics, cementitious boards, epoxy, and even rubberized floors are an excellent choice for the bathrooms of the elderly.

The walls and floors of the same color can be a problem for the elderly. It is better to create the walls and floors in contrast, so they do not get baffled.

Toilet Seats

The height of the toilet seat must be such that it eases the muscles. Instead of low seats, it is better to get seats that are high enough.

If you do not want to replace the set, simply increase the height by using the wedging technique. A height of 46 cm is great for the elderly.

Grab Bars

Grab bar assistants help the elderly stay balanced while standing up from the seat or coming out of the shower.

Check the user’s weight and buy the strong enough bar to hold the average weight of the user. Aluminum and steel grab bars are better than plastic bars as they are stronger to keep the weight safely.

Alert System

Whatever security measures you have taken, it is still necessary to add security alarms to the bathroom. These alarms can be used if the elderly feel in danger.

The alarms must be easy to operate. A one-touch system is excellent so that the elderly can send emergency messages easily and instantly.

Conclusion

An elderly family member might not be too active like the others, but their presence is a blessing. They need to be taken care of and loved so that they do not feel left.

Bathroom accidents are reported quite often, and as mentioned above, it is the elderly who suffer more. The things can be made easier to manage if a few things are taken into consideration.