Elderly people or those with reduced mobility may find that using the bathroom is more of a challenge than it used to be. It is one of the most common places for accidents such as slips, falls, and scalding injuries. A regular washing routine is important for hygiene and safety reasons, and it also promotes good mental health.

There are plenty of steps you can take to reduce the risks in the bathroom, and make it a safe and pleasant place for everyone to use. Here are a few points to consider. 


Install grab rails

Many slips and falls occur when getting in and out of the bath. It can be helpful to follow some simple steps to make the procedure easier and safer. Start from an upright sitting position, and then grab the edge of the bath. Turn yourself so that you are on your knees, and grab both sides of the bath.

Lift yourself onto your feet, keeping hold of the side of the bath. Slowly lift one leg over the side of the bath, taking care to give your foot enough clearance room. Wait until your foot is firmly placed on the floor before repeating the process with your other leg. 

To give yourself an extra place to hold on to while carrying out the manoeuvre, it is recommended that you install a grab rail at a convenient height on the wall next to the bath. Grab rails are also useful to help lower and raise yourself from the toilet seat. It will also remove the temptation to use a towel rail, which often break under pressure.


Regulate the water temperature

Elderly people may not have quick enough reactions to move out of the way of water which is too hot, or may have reduced sensitivity to temperature which makes them vulnerable to burns. Therefore, it is important to set a maximum temperature of 44°C for the hot water system. 


Use non-slip mats

Bathrooms usually have smooth flooring surfaces which are likely to have splashes and puddles of water after bathing, and are a common cause of slips and falls. Install non-slip mats at the side of the bath and shower, as well as in the tub and shower tray. 


Make sure that it is well-lit

A poorly lit bathroom can also contribute to accidents. Make sure that the lighting is bright enough, both at night and during the day time. If access to the bathroom is via a landing or hallway, install a nightlight to less mobile people navigate more easily when they get up to use the bathroom during the night. 


Consider installing a bath lift

Bathing is important for both mental and physical health, but older people may be less keen to use the bath because it has become too much effort to climb in and out. A bath lift is one solution to help them maintain their independence, and continue to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of a soak in warm water.


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