Bathroom Safety Considerations
The bathroom can be a very unsafe room. There are dangers
lurking in the shower, bathtub, commode, and on the floors and walls. Below are
some helpful suggestions for improving the safety of your bathroom.
- LIGHT- Provide adequate
light in the bathroom to avoid tripping, being unable to read the faucets,
or being cut while shaving. You need general overhead lighting as well as
lighting directly over the mirrors.
- HOT WATER - Burns from
hot water are a common bathroom hazard. Check the temperature of your water
heater and adjust so that the bath water will not scald. You could provide
extra safety with a bath water thermometer or bathmat with heat sensors that
signal you with a color change that the water is too hot. Check that the hot
and cold water handles turn easily and are appropriately marked.
- SLIPS AND FALLS -The
tile and porcelain of bathroom floors and fixtures can be very slippery
especially if a soap residue is allowed to build up. Clean frequently to
eliminate this build up. You can also add mats to the tub and non-slip rugs
to the floors.
- RUGS AND CARPETS - Area
rugs can help provent slips from wet floors if they are secured to the floor
with a no-slip backing. Carpeting is not recommended because the dampness in
the bathroom contributes to the growth of fungi and bacteria.
- SHOWER DOORS AND TUB SURROUNDS -
should be plastic or tempered glass. The doors for showers and tub
enclosures should open outward.
- GRAB BARS - Grab bars
can prevent falls and save lives. They provide stability and balance for
those in the bathroom. They can be installed in the tub and shower areas or
by the sink and toilet areas. Some are installed directly into the wall and
others can be clamped onto the bathtub itself.
- RAISED TOILET SEATS -
Toilets may be too low for those who have difficulty bending or lowering
themselves. A raised toilet seat makes toileting much easier and safer. For
those in a wheelchair, transfer to the raised toilet is also possible
without help. Some seats rest on the toilet rim with a non-slip surface,
others may clamp on with brackets, and still others may be added below the
base of the toilet. There are also models with armrests for added security
and padded seats for extra comfort.
- COMMODES - Commodes are
freestanding "potty chairs" for those who are unable to get to the
bathroom. There are many models with several different features to choose
from. Choose aluminum, steel, composite, and armless, arms, etc.
- BATH AND SHOWER SEATS -
Getting into the bath tub or shower offers more perils of falling and
slipping. There are transfer benches to help one get into the bathtub or
shower area. There are shower chairs or benches so you can sit while
showering thus avoiding a slip or being tired out. Seats of all kinds come
with height adjustments and with slip-resistant seats, backs and rubber
feet. Check Elite's many offerings for one which fulfills your needs and
will fit your bath area as well.