For many people, the bathroom is a haven where you can relax and unwind in a hot bubble bath and a good book. But with 200,000 bathroom accidents a year, the bathroom can be a very dangerous place indeed. The very young and the elderly are especially at risk of slips, falls, and scaldings.
Here are some simple steps to ensure your bathroom is safe and comfortable to use for all the family.
Bathrooms are by nature, notoriously slippery. It’s all too easy to injure yourself by slipping and falling. A bathmat by the side of the bath and an anti-slip rubber mat inside the bath can decrease the likelihood of falling. Make sure that all spillages are thoroughly mopped up, this is particularly important for children and the infirm. Baths with grip handles and grip bars near the toilet can provide extra stability. Invest in shower repairs if need be. You should ensure that the shower head is secured properly so it couldn’t fall off and hit someone and that it doesn’t leak because any stray water on the floor could cause someone to slip over and injure themselves.
A Walk in Bath is exactly that, a bath you can walk inside to. Instead of having to climb into the bath, the bath comes complete with a door either on the side or the front of the bath. The bath door is built with a special seal so that once the door is closed the water cannot flow out of its sides. They are very easy to use, simple to install and can give independence to elderly and disabled people who are usually unable to bath themselves and will prevent falls. They come in a range of sizes and types to suit all bathrooms and all requirements.
While most of us have a lock on our bathroom door, there are times when locks can be particularly hazardous especially in the case of an accident. Depending on who you want to safety proof the bathroom for, a traditional bolt lock should be placed higher up in the case of children so they cannot lock themselves in. For the elderly, an easy to operate door latch that can be easily gripped with arthritic fingers that can be opened from the outside in case of an emergency is ideal.
A toilet alarm system with a ceiling pull that someone can in distress used to alert others to an emergency, injury or illness that has occurred in the bathroom. Generally used by disabled people, they are easily installed, simple to use, just one pull of the cord activates an alarm and a light outside of the bathroom.
To allow easy access for wheelchairs and other mobility aids, the doorway may need to be widened. Pocket doors slide into the wall, either to one side or split between two sides preferably ones with large U-shaped door pulls. Special offset hinges can add a few extra inches to the doorway. The door should be rehung so that it opens outward; this ensures people can get in from the outside should anybody fall over or collapse across the door inside.