Senior Care in Lititz PA
The bathroom is the most used rooms in the home. It is the place where your aging parents can relax in a warm bath and escape the daily stresses, but it is also one of the most dangerous rooms in the house, especially for seniors. Elderly adults are at a greater risk of falls and injuries because some of their medications may cause dizziness, they may have limited mobility and surfaces of the bathroom can be slippery when they are wet. The water, slippery flooring and sharp edges can be a dangerous place for your elderly parents, so safety and preventing falls is an essential concern. Here are five tips for providing senior care and safety in the bathroom.
It is common for elderly adults to not notice when the water is too hot, because their ability to feel the heat may be reduced due to neurological damage, certain medical conditions and/or medications. Elderly adults have thinner skin, so bath water that is too hot will often cause deep burns with only a brief exposure. If the water temperature is too hot, it can lead to serious burns. It is highly recommended that the water heater temperature be set to 120 degrees or lower to help prevent the risk of scalding.
One of the most important senior care things you can do for elderly parents is make sure their home has adequate lighting. For most elderly adults, sleeping through the night is difficult and they make frequent trips to the bathroom. Installing both overhead lighting and night lights will help to prevent falls when going to and from the bathroom. Make sure the lighting in the bathroom is bright, but does not produce a glare, which may cause vision to blur, resulting in a fall.
Providing a safe bathroom is an important aspect of senior care. Ensuring that the bathroom is completely safe may require a little remodeling, but it will be well worth the effort if it prevents a fall. Consider installing grab bars next to the toilet and a handrail in the shower. A transfer seat will help prevent falls for those who have a loss in muscle strength. If possible, remove shower curtains and shower doors, but if a shower must be used, install one with safety glass.
Bathroom tile can be extremely slick, which can increase the risk of a fall. If the ceramic tile cannot be replaced, place a rubber mat over the entire surface and do not use any rugs without a rubber backing. Install slip resistant decals on the floor of the tub.
Sinks and counter-tops often have sharp edges that can result in a serious injury. If possible, install fixtures with rounded corners. If the fixtures cannot be replaced, consider installing corner guards on all edges, including the outside of cabinets and on all corners of the sink.
If your elderly parent has mobility or balance issues, it may be a good idea to have someone available to supervise their safety. For example, a home care provider can be available to help with bathing and dressing, which can prevent a fall.