A bathroom’s layout determines a lot about how safe that space is.
In a small bathroom, it can be easier to trip and fall. Limited floor space increases the risk of items sticking out or cluttering the floor. In a large bathroom, the extra space may be better for having a clear walking path, but it can make it harder to have grab bars everywhere they’re needed.
For January’s National Bath Safety Month, take a look at your mom’s bathroom layout. What would make it safer?
Safety in a Small Bathroom
With a small bathroom, the risk of hitting your head on a toilet, sink corner, or tub wall is high. No matter which way you fall, something is in the way.
Grab bars help prevent falls by offering something supportive to fall. As there’s not a lot of wall space, consider grab bars that have a lower bar welded on at the bottom. That lower bar is meant to hold towels.
In the bathtub or shower, there’s not a lot of room for a shower seat. If your mom is unsteady on her feet while bathing, a fold-down teak shower seat is attractive. It also folds out the way when it’s not in use so others have plenty of space while bathing.
Safety in Long Bathrooms
Some bathrooms have plenty of space, but there are long aisles leading to the door. Grab bars provide support along those walkways.
Another feature of a larger bathroom is to have the toilet in a water closet. A door separates it from the rest of the bathroom. If the bathroom has a separate water closet for the toilet, is there a way for your mom to call for help if she needs it? With the second door closed, it may be hard to hear her. A smart speaker that doubles as an intercom is a good idea.
The final thing to make sure is present in a large bathroom is bright lighting. If there are only one or two lights, there may be dark corners or shadowy areas. That can increase the risk of a fall.
Is it time to have caregivers available when your mom takes her morning bath or shower? With elderly care services, your mom has someone nearby to help steady her as she steps over the bathtub wall. She has a helper to assist her in getting into the shower and settled on a shower seat. Talk to an elderly care specialist to make the arrangements.