With more people than ever before suffering from illnesses like dementia, creating a dementia-friendly bathroom is essential. Whether you suffer from the disease yourself, you know someone who does or you are a landlord looking to create the ideal bathroom environment, you need to ensure that your bathroom environment is designed with dementia-friendliness in mind.
There are a variety of components which you need to include in your bathroom design, such as disabled shower trays and safety features like hand rails, to ensure that you, your loved one or your tenant can feel confident in their bathroom and remain independent.
The Issue Of Dementia
The rise in the life expectancy of people has seen dementia grow into a much more common illness. With more than 850,000 people suffering from varying degrees of dementia in the UK alone, it is essential for people to understand how certain dementia-friendly solutions can improve safety, quality of life and independence.
The Risks Of Dementia And A Non-Friendly Bathroom
Trips And Falls – One of the most common risks associated with elderly people, or sufferers from degenerative mental illnesses, is the risk of trips, slips and falls. Older people with dementia are not only more likely to trip in the dangerous bathroom environment, but are also three times more likely to suffer from hip fractures or other severe issues than those without the condition.
Bathrooms tend to be one of the most dangerous areas in a home, and can often result in severe physical ailments developing.
Eyesight And Visual Issues – Many elderly people suffer from issues which reduce the amount of detail they are able to take in and absorb. Illnesses like these can be greatly exacerbated when the sufferer also has to deal with issues of dementia as well.
Scalding And Burns – When it comes to bathing or showering, it is often difficult to judge whether another person finds the water uncomfortably hot. More than half of people with dementia were observed to experience pain during bathing, but fewer than 40% were able to actually report that they were in pain. The condition then puts them at greater risk of scalding or suffering burns.
How To Create A Dementia-Friendly Bathroom!
Firstly, to reduce the risks of tripping or falling, you should ensure that the floor of the room is clear of any obstructions. If the bathroom has a bath, or a traditional shower unit, be sure to change the design to feature a disabled shower tray. As they are slightly lowered into the floor, there is no risk of tripping over the shower’s lip, as a result of low ground clearance.
When it comes to a sufferer of dementia with low-quality vision, make sure that your bathroom features simple colours and as few reflective surfaces as possible. Another tip is to include grab rails around key areas of the bathroom, such as the toilet seat, or beside the shower screen, to be easily seen and easily reachable.
To reduce the risk of scalds and burns, ensure that your water is capped at a certain temperature. There are a range of products available which restrict temperature to as low as 38 degrees and are ideal to prevent the most vulnerable from scalding. Thermostatic taps are also useful, as they can allow immediate change in the temperature of water required, allowing cold water to be easily applied to any scalds that occur.
Caring For Sufferers Of Dementia
It is always worth investing in the right products when you are responsible for the care of a dementia sufferer. Remember to make the most of the very best in innovative products, including disabled shower trays, to improve the dementia friendliness of your bathroom and your home as a whole.
For more information on how you can convert your bathroom to more effectively support an elderly relative or a sufferer of a degenerative mental illness , please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Bathtime Mobility today on 0800 29 22 110.