One hazardous area for elderly men and women is the bathroom. Slippery flooring, narrower walkways, and obstacles all increase the risk of a fall. If your mom has fallen or is not as steady on her feet as she once was, you should do an audit of her bathroom. Check these aspects and areas.
How bright is the lighting on the route to the bathroom? If she gets out of bed in the middle of the night, is the hallway dimly lit? You should add nightlights that light up the floor and doorways to prevent falls.
How is the lighting in the bathroom? Are the switches easy to find and not hidden behind doors? Could you add a motion-activated nightlight to make sure your mom can see where she’s going at night without needing to find a switch?
Most bathrooms have tile or linoleum flooring. When that type of flooring gets wet, it’s slippery. The bathtub or shower floor is likely slippery, too. If that’s the case, you should look into non-slip adhesive decals or a non-slip suction mat for the shower/tub floor. Non-slip bathmats outside the tub are also essential.
If the flooring is old and wearing out, look into vinyl plank flooring. Skid-resistant vinyl flooring comes in a large selection of colors and looks like wood flooring, but its anti-skid finish helps prevent slips and falls.
Are grab bars mounted securely to studs in the wall? Grab bars should be installed inside the shower or tub, both vertically and horizontally. They should also be on the wall outside of the tub or shower and behind and to the side of the toilet.
If there are no grab bars, you should add them. If you’re worried about space, you can buy grab bars that have a second bar that serves as a towel rack.
How wide is the door into your mom’s bathroom? Is it wide enough to accommodate a walker or wheelchair if she reaches that point? If you switch the door to a pocket door or sliding barn-style door, will that help?
How about the shower door? Is it made of glass or does she have a shower curtain? If she has a glass door, make sure it is safety glass or plastic to help prevent serious cuts if it was to break.
Fall prevention is just one way to keep your mom safe. Hire caregivers to help her with the tasks she’s now struggling to complete. If she often forgets to take her medications, caregivers can offer medication reminders. If she no longer cooks meals without relying on freezer meals or canned soups, caregivers can cook for her. All it takes is one call to get her set up with home care services.
If you are considering a Caregiver in Bay Village, OH, for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Four Seasons Home Care today: (440) 716-9100.