5 Simple Upgrades to Make Your Bathroom Safer

by Medical XPress

Shower-tub combo with safety barsFor those with reduced mobility, such as the elderly or individuals with degenerative muscular disorders, everyday tasks can become potentially dangerous situations. Simple things like climbing the stairs, reaching a high shelf in a cabinet, or even getting in and out of the shower can result in serious injuries. One of the most dangerous pats of the home for these individuals is the bathroom, which is often filled with uneven, slippery surfaces. If you or a loved one have mobility issues, consider making these 5 simple upgrades in the bathroom to make it a safer place.

Safety Bars and Grab Handles

Many falls in the bathroom could easily be prevented by the presence of safety bars and grab handles. These incredibly simple and affordable features can be attached to virtually any wall; many can even be securely installed without screws, so you don’t have to worry about putting holes in your walls. They provide added stability to those who need it to step over an uneven surface, such as into or out of the bath or shower. They are also useful for helping individuals rise from a seated position, such as on the toilet.

If you want to quickly and inexpensively improve the safety of your bathroom, safety bars are the way to go. Mount them near the bathtub and shower, as well as beside the toilet to greatly reduce the likelihood of fall-related injuries in the bathroom.

Shower Seat

Shower stalls can be an especially dangerous part of the bathroom for those who struggle with mobility and balance. When you’re in the shower, you’re frequently shifting your weight, bending, twisting, and moving on an incredibly slippery surface as you tend to your personal hygiene. While not a problem for many, for others, it’s a serious safety concern.

As mentioned above, a safety bar or grab handle in the shower can help with these balance issues. However, a shower seat is an even safer option. It allows an individual to sit as they wash the lower extremities of their body, virtually eliminating slip-and-fall risks when the seat is being used. It’s also especially helpful for those who tire easily and may struggle to remain standing throughout a long shower.

Handheld Shower Head

This is an excellent upgrade to include when putting a seat or bench in your shower stall. Sitting during a shower, while safer, can make it more difficult to effectively wash yourself. A handheld showerhead eliminates this problem, as a person can easily tend to all of their personal hygiene needs while seated on the bench. It also eliminates the need to frequently stand and rinse off in the shower’s spray, which would be an added slip-and-fall risk.

Carpet Runners

The inside of your shower and tub aren’t the only surfaces in your bathroom that can get slippery. The tile or linoleum in your bathroom can get wet as well and pose a slipping hazard. While you likely don’t want carpet throughout your bathroom, a few strategically placed carpet runners can greatly reduce the likelihood of a slip-and-fall accident.

Use the runners to create walkways that won’t become slippery from wet feet or dripping hair. Just be sure to use double-sided tape or adhesive strips to hold down the edges of the carpets so that they don’t become a tripping hazard.

Walk-In Tub or Shower

While this upgrade is a bit more involved than the previous ones we’ve mentioned, it can make a huge different to those who have mobility issues. Climbing into and out of a tub takes a surprising amount of balance and coordination, considering the height of the edge you must climb over and the potentially slippery surfaces on either side. Even stepping over a small lip and into a shower stall can be a tripping or slipping hazard for those who have mobility issues.

By upgrading to a walk-in bathtub or walk-in shower you can make it much easier for yourself or your loved one to maintain independence in tending to their personal hygiene needs. Additionally, upgrading to a walk-in tub or shower may actually be more affordable than you think: It’s now possible to purchase conversion kits to turn your existing tub into a walk-in tub.

If you’re looking to make your bathroom a safer place for yourself or a loved one with reduced mobility, consider making these 5 simple upgrades. They’re all surprisingly affordable, take little time to install, and can make a huge difference in preventing slips and falls in the bathroom. If you’re looking for safety bars, grab handles, shower benches, and other bathroom safety items, stop by Medical Xpress and check out our inventory.