Foolproof guide to creating a fall prevention senior-friendly bathroom
We all know the importance of fall prevention, but as any facility manager working in the aged care sector knows only too well, falls can be more serious among the elderly as they are more likely to be injured.
According to a report by Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, about 125,000 people aged 65 and over were seriously injured due to a fall in 2016-17. Injuries to the head (26 percent), hip and thigh (22 percent) were the most common. Among the cases that occurred at home, 12 percent of the falls took place in the bathroom.
Ari Zorlus, managing director of bathroomware importer Paco Jaanson, understands the dangers of a poorly designed senior bathroom. “We saw a real lack of beautifully designed bathroomware catered to the aged and disabled and a lot of our customers were crying out for a more sophisticated alternative,” says Zorlu. “With our years of experience in the bathroom industry, we decided to branch out and create a range of specially designed products that stay true to form and function within this speciality sector.”
To minimise the fall hazard in your bathroom, Zorlu suggests the following:
Raise the height of the toilet
You will be surprised how raising the toilet’s height by less than five centimetres can make all the difference for senior. Some specially designed toilet suites even come with an increased pan projection and/or backrest to provide extra support for those with disabilities.
Opt for a handshower and shower seat set
Standing in a shower for a long time or getting in and out of a bathtub could be challenging to those who have lost mobility and strength. Allow your senior to feel more independent by installing a quality shower seat with a handshower so they can enjoy a nice shower instead of seeing it as a chore.
Rails, rails, rails
This one may sound like a no-brainer, but there are so many options for grab bars and rails. You can choose a 90-degree wraparound grab rail for their right and left hands, you can choose different finishes, you can put in a T-rail in the shower… The choices are limitless. Not only is this an easy and cheap way to make your bathroom more senior-friendly, but it also makes the caregiver’s life easier.
Switch for lever mixers
All the twisting and turning can be frustrating to some elderly. It doesn’t cost much to install a lever mixer. Plus, there are lots of styles available that will suit the decor of your bathroom.
Get a barrier-free, solid basin
Your basin is also critical in creating a safe wet zone for seniors. Take the Bassin Basins we carry at Paco Jaanson as an example, they have round corners, integrated handles and wide shelf for forearms to give users that extra assistance. They can bear a load of up to 150 kilograms. Made with solid, non-porus, low maintenance and hygienic surface material, these barrier-free, high-quality basins simply give you peace of mind.