When it comes to making the home a safer place for someone with reduced mobility, one of the best things that can be done is to adapt the bathroom. This is this the one room in the house responsible for the biggest number of slips and falls, especially among elderly and disabled people. So taking a few simple safety measures here pays dividends in keeping occupants safe.
For anyone who is still fairly ambulant and on a limited budget, the easiest adaptation to make is to use anti-slip bath mats. Or, if you are considering refurbishing the bathroom, the best use of your budget is to put in a level access shower tray – that’s one with no step that you could trip over.
If your mobility should deteriorate in future, the level access shower will be easier to access compared to a shower with a high step or a bath tub. Just be sure to use a shower tray strong enough to support the weight of a shower stool or wheelchair, as you never know what the future holds.
If the bathroom has become difficult to use already, you may well need the assistance of a mobility bathroom specialist to design and install a new bathroom that is easy to access.
With regard to the rest of the house, a lot of simple changes can be made to make the home safer. Fall prevention should be the principal aim. Remove rugs, to reduce potential trip hazards, and take a good look at the furniture. If you can reduce sharp edges on furniture, either by sourcing cabinets and chests of drawers with rounded edges, or attaching cushioning to existing furniture in high traffic areas, it will potentially prevent impact injuries in a fall. Tidying away cables using cable ties or other cable tidy products will also reduce potential trip hazards.
De-cluttering the home will reduce objects to trip over or fall onto. It may also be a useful money raising exercise as a lot of items can be sold using E-Bay. Just be sure not to let any sentimental objects or family heirlooms go out with the clutter! Replace glasses and crockery with unbreakable plastic alternatives, many of which are indistinguishable in appearance from real glass or china. Obviously, you notice when using them, but looks wise they are pretty convincing.
More comfortable furniture such as higher arm chairs, rise recline chairs or adjustable beds will make the living environment easier to use and reduce potential falls as it will be easier to get in and out of them.
Lastly, to make the home safer, don’t forget to look into personal alarms and always ensure a telephone is close by, either a cordless land line phone or a mobile phone which can be kept to hand in a pocket.
If you’re considering making more substantial adaptations to the home and changing your bathroom, be sure to get in touch with Bathtime Mobility, a specialist in mobility bathing. Find out more by calling us on 03300 882 237.