National Senior Citizens Day is observed each year on August 21. The day honors the country’s senior citizens who have devoted their lives to earning a living, raising families, and contributing to their communities.
One way to celebrate this special day is to address the needs of a senior citizen in your household. As people age, they lose the mobility they once had. As a result, many senior citizens have to limit their activities and movements to the first floor of their home.
One of the most important rooms in the home that needs to be updated to accommodate aging relatives is the bathroom. Many traditional bathroom fixtures are not suited to the limited functionality of a senior citizen. Bathrooms need to be adjusted to suit the needs of our aging loved ones if we want to minimize risks to their safety.
The following renovations will make bathrooms safer and easier for seniors to use:
- A bathroom on the ground floor — Many senior citizens can’t negotiate stairs with ease, so it’s important to have a bathroom on the ground floor of the home. If there isn’t a bathroom on the first floor, you should consider renovating to add this accommodation.
- Raised toilet seat — Since sitting and standing can be strenuous for a senior citizen, replacing the traditional toilet seat with a higher one will make toilet access more convenient. Providing handles on both sides of the toilet can also help seniors stand and sit.
- Walk-in tub – A walk-in tub is an excellent accommodation to have in your home for the elderly. Getting over the side of a regular tub can be strenuous. Having a walk-in tub with the shortest lip possible can help prevent your relative from tripping and falling while entering.
- Skid mats —Falling is a major concern for many senior citizens and can be very damaging for their bodies. Since bathroom floors are typically slippery, especially when it gets wet, placing skid mats everywhere in the bathroom will greatly reduce the likelihood of a fall.
- Grab bars in the bathroom — Another thing that can help reduce falls is adding grab bars in bathroom showers. Bathtubs and showers are arguably the most treacherous areas of the bathroom for a senior to navigate. Grab bars can minimize slips and falls. If you can’t afford a walk-in shower, there are taller grab bars you can attach to the side of your bathtub so your senior can hold onto something while stepping over the lip of the tub.
- Organized storage — Too much clutter in bathrooms can be hazardous. If you have a lot of things in your bathroom, make sure they are out of the way and properly stored to reduce the risk of injuries for older relatives.
When it comes to the safety of your elderly loved ones, it’s important to keep environmental risks to a minimum — especially when it comes to such a well-traversed area of the home as a bathroom. If you take the necessary steps to make sure your bathroom meets the needs of your aging relative, you will be showing your love while also increasing their quality of living.