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A Guide to Bathroom Safety for Seniors

5 min read

Matthew Delmonico


by Dr. Matthew Delmonico

Senior woman using grab bar for bathroom safety

Did you know that according to the National Institute on Aging, 80% of bathroom injuries in seniors occur due to slippery floor surfaces? 

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Moreover, bathroom falls are one of the most dangerous falls reported, leading to tailbone injuries and bone fractures.

Bathroom injuries can be serious for everyone, be it adults or seniors. However, seniors are more vulnerable to experiencing bathroom injuries. 

Many times, slippery or wet floors in bathrooms are unavoidable. However, there are multiple preventive measures to avoid falls and injuries from slippery floors and damp surfaces. 

In this article, we will discuss the top ways to increase bathroom safety for seniors to prevent serious injuries. 

Top 5 Bathroom Safety Tips for Seniors  

Maintaining a safe bathroom environment is crucial for ensuring bathroom safety for seniors. Here are some tips to help achieve that.

2. Shower Chairs

A shower chair should be a must-have accessory in a senior’s bathroom, as some seniors need support to maintain balance. They may face difficulty standing for long periods while showering, and even a little slipperiness may lead to falls. 

Sitting on shower chairs while bathing prevents fatigue and strain on the muscles.

A shower chair not only allows seniors to bathe comfortably and conveniently but also gives support and rest, preventing dangerous falls from slippery floors. 

Moreover, shower chairs enhance the independence of seniors, allowing them to shower with little or no assistance. 

While selecting a shower chair for seniors, it is crucial to consider the following factors: 

  • Choose a shower chair that matches the senior’s height and weight requirements.
  • The chair should be stable on the floor and capable of withstanding the moist bathing environment and slippery floors and surfaces.
  • Choose a shower chair with additional comfortable built-in features, like an armrest and backrest for added comfort, convenience, and ease.
  • If the senior uses more than one bathroom in a house or travels frequently, a lightweight and portable chair should be chosen.

2. Grab Bars 

The second crucial step to maintaining a safe bathroom environment for seniors is installing multiple grab bars in high-risk areas. 

The ideal approach is to install a grab bar near the toilet, shower, and bathroom sink so the seniors can have support after they are done showering or using the toilet or sink. 

Moreover, the grab bars should be handy and strong enough to allow the senior to hold the bars easily when they are losing support, moving, getting up, or sitting down.

3. Raised Toilet Seats

Toilet with height extension for disabled senior person indoors in house

With age, seniors often experience back pain and arthritis, which makes standing and sitting difficult for them, increasing the chances of falls and injuries.

A raised toilet seat in the bathroom requires less effort to sit down and stand up from the toilet, providing ease for seniors. 

There are two options for installing a raised toilet seat. The first one is replacing the existing model with a raised one, which is expensive, and the second one is adding a raised seat on top of the existing toilet. 

The toilet seat should be installed and chosen according to the senior’s height and comfort. An excessively raised seat may be dangerous for a senior with a shorter height.

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4. Placing Only Important Items in Easily Accessible Places 

The next tip for maintaining a safe bathroom environment for seniors is to avoid clutter. The bathroom should only have necessary items that seniors use in their daily bathing routine. 

Unnecessary products or accessories in the bathroom can make it difficult for seniors to access or find the products they use. 

Clutter can also lead to the falling of bathroom items, and sometimes, when seniors bend to pick them up, it can result in back strain or other injuries from slippery floors or loss of balance. 

Hence, it is crucial to place necessary bathing items in easily accessible places so seniors don’t have to exert much effort to access or use what they need while brushing, washing, or bathing.

5. Higher Wattage Bulbs 

Poor eyesight is a common problem that almost every individual faces as age progresses. 

The bathrooms of seniors should have sufficient lighting with higher-wattage bulbs so they can easily see slippery floors or hazards while moving. 

In addition, seniors’ bathrooms should have a backup light that turns on immediately in case of a power failure or breakdown.

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