Create safe bathroom and bedroom areas for aging-friendly homes

02.21.2020

Slips, trips and falls at home are a major concern for many older adults. For Rudy and Erna, the bathroom and bedroom of their new home needed a number of modifications to help with Rudy's balance issues.

Here are ways to turn danger zones in the bathroom and bedroom into hazard-free living spaces.

Bathroom safety

Floor-to-ceiling poles help with balance issues
Floor-to-ceiling poles help with balance issues.

Easy fixes in the bathroom go a long way toward preventing slips, trips and falls.

Install non-slip surfaces, such as decals or bath mats, on the bottom of the tub or shower.

Replace throw rugs with non-slip rugs or mats near the bathtub, toilet and sink.

Install grab bars, tub rail and/or security pole in the bathtub or shower area and by the toilet. Floor-to-ceiling poles help with balance issues. Grab bars on the wall add security for entering and exiting the room.

Add bath or shower chairs to give a secure place to sit while showering.

Use a transfer bench to lift legs over the tub and slide in safely.

Choose the right raised toilet seat. Built-in grip bars work well for small- bottomed users. Add grab bars or a safety frame to help larger-bottomed users raise or lower themselves.

Ease showering with handheld shower heads. They offer more control, work well with a bath bench, and make turning water on or off easier.

Install bright lighting and nightlights to improve safety.

Bedroom safety

Bedroom safety starts with de-cluttering pathways and installing plenty of lighting.

Set a safe bed height that keeps feet on the floor and knees at a 90-degree angle when sitting on the side. Find out if insurance covers the purchase or rental of a hospital beds from medical equipment retailers like Goshen Home Medical.

Use bed rails and guards to prevent rolling off the bed.

Add a bed cane and security pole to help with getting into and out of bed.

Provide a bedside commode for special toileting needs. Place toilet paper, wipes and hand sanitizer within easy reach.

Set an emergency plan in place that addresses medical concerns, mobility issues, memory and physical condition. Keep medication records and emergency contact numbers on display.

Checklist of simple bedroom modifications

  • Keep a flashlight in easy reach of the bed.
  • Use motion-sensitive lights that automatically light pathways.
  • Add a light switch or lamp that's easy to reach from the bed.
  • Install a light switch at the doorway.
  • Install a smoke detector near the bedroom.
  • Install lever style door handles and D-style drawer handles for easy access.
  • Keep a sturdy chair with arms to use while dressing.
  • Remove throw rugs and keep floors smooth for walker or wheelchair use.
  • De-clutter pathways, especially around the bed.
  • Check all electrical cords and make sure they do not cross walkways.
  • Lower door thresholds to reduce tripping.
  • Make closets easily accessible with contents within easy reach.

We're here to help

Goshen Health has many care services to help you and your family during life’s transitions. Goshen Home Medical offers a wide selection of home medical equipment and supplies to meet most every need. Our trained, caring team can help you with product selection and instructions.

To learn more, visit Goshen Home Medical or call (574) 533-0626.