Senior home safety is vital to ensuring that your elderly loved one is safe at home, that the risk of falls or other accidents is minimized, and that they are at an increased risk of running into trouble when no one is around to help them. There is no such thing as a 100 percent safe home environment, though, but most accidents do occur in the bathroom and the kitchen. Let’s focus on the bathroom right now. Is there anything that you could do to ensure that the bathroom is safer for your elderly loved one? Absolutely. Grab bars are the first idea. But what about if the bathroom is just too small? Is there anything that you could do to help alleviate the situation?
When a bathroom is small, this can make moving around in it more challenging. Imagine that your father has a walker and he can’t seem to get into the bathroom with it, and close the door safely. He might have to move the walker to the side in order to close the door. This can cause him to lose balance and fall down.
When you’re concerned with senior home safety, think about some of the aspects of a bathroom that is too small from the senior’s perspective. It might not be a big deal to you to walk in, close the door, and use the facilities. However, it could be quite challenging. Some bathrooms are cramped so tight that there is barely enough room to stand and turn around in them. It doesn’t matter whether there is a shower stall in it or not.
If the bathroom is too small, you could consider having the door swing out, rather than in. This might pose a risk to someone in the hallway, but there are ways around that. By have the door swing out, you create about 10 square feet of new space. This should allow plenty of room for the walker.
You could also get half counters. These are new ideas for small bathrooms that essentially provide a narrow sink, but oblong, with counters that are half as deep as traditional ones.
You could also remove the closet, if there is one in the room. Place towels and other items in a cabinet over the sink. These cabinets would also be half the depth of normal cabinets. Just by doing that, you could increase the useable square footage of flooring space by almost 20 to 30. Then you could add grab bars where needed and that will boost senior home safety in that bathroom.