For people who suffer from mobility issues, the bathroom is often the most dangerous room in the house. With so many slippery surfaces and fixtures that splash water around, there are many potential hazards in the standard bathroom. With the help of some of these handy tips however, you can create a bathroom that is much safer and simpler to navigate around no matter what restrictions you may have.
Getting in and out of the bathroom needn’t be a stressful task, so be sure the path to the room is clear and has no obstacles such as shoes or laundry baskets on the floor. It may be the case that the user cannot bend to move objects from their path, so all walkways should be left clear and tidy for them, allowing them to access the bathroom when and if they should want to. Adding a battery powered ‘push light’ to the wall at waist height can help with late night bathroom breaks, eliminating the need to stretch and search for a light switch or cord.
If the user requires a wheelchair then extra space and the width of the doorway must be made to suit their needs; if the doorway is too narrow it may be worth refitting the frame to leave more space. Finally, look at the door saddle at the floor of the door way; the ½ inch raise from the ground may seem like nothing, but for someone using a walker or cane, this could cause trips or falls. If you cannot remove the saddle, advise them to sidestep the saddle to cross the doorway safely.
More information on sidestepping is available from your registered G.P.
As mentioned above, slipping is one of the biggest risks when it comes to bathroom safety, so taking some steps to prevent accidents is highly recommendable. Make sure you add non-slip surfaces with a rubberised back on both the inside of the bathtub and on the bathroom floor. Soft, fluffy floor mats may look nice and feel nice to stand on, but often come without a rubberized back which grips to the floor; this can easily slip from under the feet of the user and cause an accident, so be sure to check the back of each mat. Bathtubs require a more waterproof solution; rubber bathmats are available with ‘sucker pods’ which can be pressed down in the bath in order to effectively cling and grip.
Adding a grab bar to the side of bath and shower areas is a great way to offer extra support when the user is getting in and out of the bath or shower. They can be mounted anywhere and make a huge difference in both support and balance. If the user is currently in the habit of using the towel rail for extra support when entering and exiting their bath, it is highly advisable you add a grab bar; grabbing the towel rails is very unsafe, and could lead to unfortunate accidents.
Creating a bathroom which offers a safe experience for users is a great way to reduce risks and ensure they can access the room with independence.
This article was written by Alexandra, an experienced blogger on the aspect of bathroom hygiene and safety on behalf of Bathshop321 who provide an excellent range of cloakroom suites at excellent prices!