Easy fixes for a safer bathroom
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 30 percent of bathroom injuries among teens and adults happen in the bath or shower.
For more information on the equipment mentioned here, research “independent living” on the Web. Home improvement stores—such as Home Depot and Lowe’s—carry much of this equipment. When purchasing safety equipment, be sure it is sturdy enough to support the full weight of the user.
Install grab bars
Grab bars should be in every bath. Install them beside the toilet, in the shower and in the bathtub area. In the tub area, install a grab bar by the side of the tub to help with getting in and out as well as on the wall of the tub (one high enough to hold onto while bathing, and one lower to help with getting up and down in the tub).
Remember, all grab bars need to be fastened to structural studs, so make sure the grab bar you choose has the right dimensions to span between the existing stud spacing. An alternative to permanently installed grab bars is a retrofit-type grab bar that uses a vice grip to the side of the tub or suction fit to the walls. However, these are less sturdy and, in the case of suction fit, may not be able to support your full weight.
Change the toilet seat to suit the user
Consider raised toilet seats; raised toilet seats with arms to assist in standing; elongated or extra-wide toilet seats; and child toilet seats, for smaller people.
Adapt the bathtub
Make the bathtub more versatile by replacing the stationary showerhead with a hand-held shower that can be supported by a wall mount when not in use. This arrangement allows for seated bathing/showering as well as showering while standing. Hand-held showers are also great for washing kids and dogs!
Use a bathtub safety bench or shower stool
This works well with the hand-held shower. The bench/stool can be used by the bather or by a person bathing a child.
Buy a table stand and/or magnifying mirror
These can be helpful for individuals who are shorter and/or have less than perfect eyesight.