Why bathroom assistance is important
The bathroom is one of most common areas of the home for falls, spills and accidents to occur. For people over 65, around 12% of fall-related hospitalisations happen in the bathroom. And this number doesn’t take into account near misses or minor slips that don’t result in a hospital visit.
As well as getting the right assistance when using the bathroom, there are some other things you can do to increase safety and maintain your independence.
- Keep the bathroom floor as clear as possible. Remove any items such as a clothes hamper and bathroom scales. Bathrooms are generally one of the smallest rooms in the house, so these are best kept in a bedroom or wardrobe.
- Clean up patches of water as quickly as possible. Make sure towels and clothes aren’t left on the floor where they could become a tripping hazard. Install extra hooks or rails if needed to keep these things out of the way.
- Use non-slip mats in wet areas like the shower.
- Adjust the hot water temperature to minimise the risk of scalds.
- Place regularly used personal care items – like skincare products and toothbrushes – within arms reach. Install shelves or hooks so you don’t have to bend down into cupboards.
- Make sure the bathroom is well lit. Battery operated strip lighting can be installed to brighten areas like the mirror and toilet, if needed.
- Regularly maintain bathroom assistive equipment to make sure they last. Wipe down soap buildup, disinfect surfaces that come into contact with skin and check for signs of wear and tear.