The bathroom is a universal place in every home for hygiene, bodily functions, and grooming. Some might add that it is also a relaxing place when you take a long, hot shower or soak in the tub. However, seniors may experience difficulty using the bathroom if they are disabled or experiencing side effects from medication. Here are some things that can be done to make going to the bathroom easier for the elderly.
Widen the Door
The first consideration is access. The bathroom door may need to be widened to accommodate someone using a cane, a walker, or a wheelchair. Some older people need physical help from a family member or caregiver who will accompany them to the bathroom, so the entrance should be wide enough to let both persons enter at the same time. Similarly, the toilet area needs to be open and accessible to someone who struggles with mobility or flexibility when sitting down.
Install a High Toilet
Since toilet seats come in different heights, choose one that fits the elder’s comfort level for seating. One that is too low or too high could cause problems. Determine the best sitting position and height to help an older person be comfortably seated. A plumbing services company can install the new toilet and other fixtures like an appropriately-tall sink and counter area for the senior’s use. Make sure the toilet is properly installed so that it doesn’t drip or leak, which could cause someone to slip and fall.
Add Arm Rests
Aluminum hand rails or arm rests can help an aging person to be seated on a toilet and maintain balance while using it. A surprising number of older people get dizzy and fall in the bathroom, often resulting in a serious injury. Hand rails and arm rests near the toilet and in the shower or tub provide added safety and protection.
Buy a Bidet
Bidets are widely used in other parts of the world and are starting to gain popularity in the U.S. A bidet is a hose attachment connected to the water line that allows the user to spray the body after using the toilet. It can be used in tandem with or instead of toilet paper, and people often claim it cleans better than toilet paper. Older people may find it easier to use than extensive wiping, especially for those who are fragile or very obese.
A few modifications to your bathroom toilet can enhance safety, comfort, and convenience for seniors. Consider making these adjustments to protect your aging loved one.