How to Keep Your Restroom Safe for Aged People.
As we grow old, our health and ability to move and see things deteriorate. This is why aged people are more at risk of accidents especially in the restroom because the floor is wet and it is usually out of the family members' sight.
We can lessen the risk of accidents in the restroom by being more cautious about the following 6 important spots:
1. The floor: the floor should be smooth without different levels and it should not be slippery. To prevent it from being slippery, pave the floor with tiles of which the texture is rough, uncoated, not glittered, or apply anti-slip treatment and placing a mat on the floor. Plus, some aged people may have eyesight problems and so cannot distinguish different colors well, so the walls and the floor in the restroom should be covered with tiles of contrastive colors so they can distinguish the floor from the walls easier.
Tiles with rough texture can prevent the floor from being slippery.
SHERA Boards can be covered with tiles.
2. Dry zone/ wet zone: The wet zone (the shower and the bathtub) should be separated clearly from the dry zone (the toilet, the sink, and washbasin and the space for getting dressed) in order to avoid slipping by:
- lifting up the dry zone and separate it from the wet zone with a sill.
- building a partition between the two zones so that the water cannot splash over the dry zone.
- with more budget, installing a shower enclosure with a shower tray on the ground to prevent the water from seeping through or splashing out.
An example of separating the wet zone and dry zone by using a partition.
3. Sanitary ware: choose the type of sanitary ware that is suitable for aged people for their convenience when they stand up/sit down/move in the restroom. Avoid using a squatting toilet, and use a flush one instead to prevent tumbling. The hand-held bidet and the tissue paper should be reachable from the toilet. And the washbasin, the urinal and the shower should be installed not too higher or lower from the ground.
Well-organized and carefully-chosen sanitary ware can help decrease risk of accidents.
4. Handrails: handrails should be installed to spots where aged people sit down and stand up around such as near the toilet or the bathtub so that they can hold on to them for support. Plus, if the restroom is large, handrails should be installed along the walls for aged people to hold on for support, especially those who have walking problems.
An example of handrails installed in a restroom.
5. Lights: there should be enough light in the restroom. White electric lights should be installed to comfort eyesight and for things in the room to be seen clearly. It also helps lessen the risk of slipping on the floor, bumping or stumbling over stuff in the restroom.
There is more safety with enough light.
6. Obstacles: avoid having any obstacle at the entrance of and along the way to the restroom to prevent bumping and stumbling. If there is a mat on the floor, attach it to the floor using some adhesive tape underneath so that they cannot be moved and cause the aged people to slip on it.
Attach the mat to the floor using adhesive tape to prevent slipping.
Being cautious with these spots allow you to not worry about your aged relatives or parents when they use the restroom. Do not hesitate to follow the suggestion above as accidents can always happen unexpectedly. The sooner you become more careful, the less likely you have to worry about it.