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Tips to make your bathroom senior safe

Each year, many seniors are injured in their home. While accidental injuries can be quite serious, especially for seniors, most accidents around the home are preventable.

The fact is that some rooms in your home are not automatically equipped to handle the special needs of senior citizens. Your bathroom is one of those rooms. Many bathrooms harbor hazards that could contribute to a fall and serious injury. Unfortunately, these hazards are easy to overlook. The good news is that they also are easy and inexpensive to fix.

A safer home can help give you peace of mind. And quite often, all it takes are some relatively minor home modifications and repairs along with the practice of some simple, common-sense safety habits. Here are some tips to make your bathroom senior safe and reduce the risk of injury:

  • Keep a nightlight on in the bathroom.
  • Make sure the pathway from the bedroom to the bathroom is lit properly.
  • Remove tripping hazards, such as cords and throw rugs. If you use bathroom rugs, make sure they have a non-skid backing.
  • Install handrails in the bathtub and toilet areas.
  • Place a rubber mat or non-skid strips on the bathtub or shower floor. To avoid a bone-breaking slip, you may want to consider using a bath bench or secure stool instead of sitting on the bottom of the bathtub.
  • Consider a wall-mounted dispenser for shampoo, conditioner and liquid soap. It's easier than struggling with a slippery shampoo bottle or  bar of soap.
  • Consider a raised toilet seat with rails around the toilet to prevent back injuries and make getting on and off easier.
  • Set the water thermostat at no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit to reduce the risk of scalding.
  • For the convenience of seniors who sit in the shower, install a hand-held shower head. This will give the user more control.

Virtually everything on this list costs no more than a few dollars apiece. More importantly, it will make your bathroom senior safe and help prevent avoidable accidents.

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