Whether you are dealing with senior parents that need some help or something for yourself, finding elderly bathroom aids has got much easier.
You can get frames that fit on either side of the toilet to help with balance, but if you have a small bathroom and space is at a premium, then simply raising the toilet seat a little higher might be the answer.
All kinds of affordable gadgets on the market now can help with these things. You don’t need to replace the toilet with a specialty one, look at the additions that can be added to the present bathroom to help with their care and make them feel confident.
I know when my dad was having mobility issues, he found this helpful. Raising it even 4 inches can make it more comfortable for sitting and standing without fear of falling or losing balance. This product will also fit in with the décor without crowding your bathroom.
As the population ages, especially the baby boomers, who comprise a large segment, coming up with aids to stay in homes and stay independent longer is very important. I know my dad battled Multiple Sclerosis and did not want to leave his home, so after much research, I didn’t realize how many products have become available to help keep him safe.
It is nice when these products can be worked right into the home, such as with grab handles and bars that help to prevent falls.
The house my hubby and I bought was owned by a 100-year-old man before he finally decided to go to a senior’s residence. This home had a few additions, such as shower grab rails and an extra handrail down the stairs, that helped him stay independent longer. At first, hubby wanted to take them out, but I find them useful, and I am not a senior yet, so they are staying!
Grab Handles in the Tub
I think these should be standard practice when building a house. Anyone can easily slip in a bathtub, not just seniors. Well-placed handles screwed right into the studs behind the tiles will hold you if you need to balance, especially when trying to raise yourself from the tub.
Many seniors will accidentally grab the towel rail when getting out of a shower/tub (my dad did this), and of course, they were not designed to carry more than towel weight, so this can cause a fall as they may pull from the wall.
They are an affordable addition to a home. It will make a difference in independence for many people and the elderly. They don’t get in the way, and they are not ugly. As we renovated our bathroom, I told hubby I wanted them to stay.
If getting in and out of the tub for a shower is an issue, but the idea of a major renovation is not in the books, then look at these transfer benches. They are rust-proof and don’t slide around and will grip in the tub, and are adjustable. You can sit on one end and slide into the tub and shower area without stepping in unaided.
These seats give people the confidence to continue using the shower or tub. Bathtubs are one of the most accident-prone areas of a house next to stairs. An elderly friend of mine hit her head on the bathtub because she had a slight dizzy spell and then tried to grab a towel bar while getting out of the shower. Of course, it did not hold, and she hurt herself.
Since then, shower grab bars have been installed. There is usually one bar for when you get out, making it easier, and another one is installed just above the central soap dish to raise yourself from sitting in the tub. They are tied right into the stud walls, so they are sturdy.
Adding a good nonslip mat or surface to the bottom of the tub will help too. You don’t want seniors to start losing their confidence in the bathroom.
These elderly bathroom aids are helpful and give them the confidence they need to care for their personal needs for much longer.
There are many aids and helpful tools on the market now designed to help you or your senior stay independent without having a costly bathroom renovation.
Keep Products Within Reach
Try to keep things as handy and as accessible as possible such as with a bathtub tray that could hold their soap, clothes, shampoo, and more. This way, they are not reaching for things and losing their balance.
Another option is to have a storage rack on the back of the bathroom door with the most used items at a medium height so that they are not bending down or squatting to get things from the cabinet under the sink.
My dad would do this and then get dizzy as he stood up, so if something needs to be used often, it needs to be accessible. If you have the room on the vanity, then a simple dollar store basket that holds lotions and other products works and keeps the area clean, but if space is at a premium, then a back-of-the-door storage system will also work.
Medicines should not be kept in the bathroom medicine cabinet because steam and humidity from the shower can affect them. Many seniors find the medicine cabinet hard to get into. So keeping the products they use every day in plain sight helps.
Try to find ways to help them in the bathroom so that they are not bending down or squatting to find things in lower areas, or they may have a dizzy spell if they stand too quickly. So, try to envision everything at a height that will be comfortable and easy for them to grab.