How to Make the Bathroom Safer for Your Elderly Parent

By Grover Koelpin 19 comments


bjbj HOW TO MAKE THE BATHROOM SAFER FOR YOUR
ELDERLY PARENT BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE VISITING NURSE SERVICE OF NEW YORK. VNSNY PROFESSIONAL
STANDS IN THE HALL OUTSIDE OF THE BATHROOM IN A SMALL, SINGLE-FAMILY HOME, SIMILAR TO
THOSE FOUND IN THE OUTER BOROUGHS. THE PROFESSIONAL IS NEAT IN APPEARANCE, DRESSED IN BLUE BUTTON
DOWN SHIRT WITH A BLACK VEST OVER IT, WITH A VNSNY BRAND ON IT. VNSNY Professional: For
the elderly, the bathroom is the most dangerous room in the home. So I m going to show you
some precautions you can take to help make the bathroom safer for your parent. VNSNY
PROFESSIONAL STANDS IN THE HALL OUTSIDE OF THE BATHROOM. SUPER: Getting In And Out VNSNY
Professional: Let s begin with the simple act of just getting into and out of the bathroom.
You want to make sure your parent has safe, easy access. SHOT WIDENS TO REVEAL OBSTACLES
IN THE AREA. PROFESSIONAL MOVES A LAUNDRY BASKET, AND SOME SHOES. That means keeping
a clear path down the hall. No area rugs to trip over, no furniture blocking the way,
move the laundry basket and the shoes. And remember to leave extra room for walkers or
wheelchairs. And just in case your parent needs to use the bathroom in the middle of
the night VNSY PROFESSIONAL WALKS OVER TO A NIGHTLIGHT ON THE HALLWAY WALL. always have
a nightlight in the hallway and the bathroom. VNSY PROFESSIONAL PUSHES THE NIGHTLIGHT ON.
And if you don t have an extra outlet in the hallway, a battery-powered push-light is a
great option. Another thing to keep in mind bathroom doors are pretty narrow, especially
in New York. They can be difficult to maneuver through if you re using a walker or cane.
Another concern—this door saddle. VNSNY PROFESSIONAL USES HIS RIGHT FOOT TO STEP ON
AND POINT OUT THE SADDLE. A half-inch rise in the floor may seem like nothing to us,
but for someone using a walker or having trouble lifting their feet, this could cause them
to trip. So they may need to side-step. DEMO SIDE-STEPPING INTO THE BATHROOM. For more
information on side-stepping, talk to their doctor. CUT TO VNSNY PROFESSIONAL STANDING
IN FRONT OF TUB. SUPER: Non-Slip Surfaces VNSNY Professional: The first thing you should
think of when thinking about bathroom safety is slipping, which is a big hazard. The best
thing you can do is make sure there s a non-slip surface both inside and the outside of the
tub. PROFESSIONAL CROUCHES DOWN TO TALK ABOUT THE BATHMAT. LIFTS UP CORNER TO REVEAL IT
DOESN T HAVE A RUBBERIZED BACK. SWAPS OUT THE RUG FOR ONE WITH A RUBBERIZED BACK. Make
sure it has a rubberized back. This doesn t, so it s gotta go. Get something like this,
with a rubberized back so it doesn t slip around, because using the wrong type of mat
can actually contribute to a fall. PROFESSIONAL MOTIONS TO AND STARTS TALKING ABOUT THE TUB.
Take a look at this tub there is absolutely nothing in here to keep mom or dad from slipping
or falling. Make sure there s a rubberized surface on the inside of the tub also. PROFESSIONAL
PLACES DOWN A MAT AND TUB DECALS. You can use a mat like this. PROFESSIONAL PULLS APART
AND DEMONSTRATES THE USE OF THE TUB DECALS. Tub decals work well also. All you have to
do with these is just peel them back, stick them right on. Just remember that when you
re using tub decals, use plenty of them so that there s no area in between to slip. SUPER:
Grab Bars VNSNY Professional: Another thing you can do to help make this bathroom safer:
add grab bars. These are also really helpful if your parent can t bring their cane or walker
into the bathroom. THE PROFESSIONAL HOLDS UP A BAR AND SHOWS DIFFERENT PLACES IT CAN
BE INSTALLED IN THE TUB OR SHOWER. You can mount one here for extra support while they
re showering. And mount one here for extra support while getting into and out of the
shower. So many people tell me they use the towel bar for extra support and balance and
it is so unsafe. PROFESSIONAL POINTS OUT THE TOWEL BAR. Towel bars are designed to hold
towels, not people. They re held in by just a little bit of glue and the grout and can
so easily be ripped from the wall. I highly recommend you do not use a towel bar for any
kind of support or balance. Make sure your parent only uses a real grab bar. They re
best if they are professionally installed. And if you can t get one directly into the
tile, then a u-shaped grab bar is a great option. Slides right over the top. You tighten
it up. It s as easy as that. PROFESSIONAL SHOWS THE U-SHAPED GRAB BAR AND HANGS IT OVER
THE SIDE OF THE TUB. And if your mom or dad needs additional support, you can also use
a shower chair. Sit down and take a shower. INSET PICTURE OF PORTABLE SHOWER BENCH. PROFESSIONAL
HOLDS THE GRAB BAR UP NEAR THE SINK Keep in mind that grab bars aren t just for the shower
or the toilet, you can put them anywhere that you think you need extra support, which brings
me to my next subject—the toilet. THEN THE TOILET. For the elderly, just getting on and
off the toilet can cause a slip or fall. Adding a grab bar makes a huge difference. And for
extra support, a raised toilet seat with handles is a great option. Very easy to install, slide
it right over the top, give it a couple turns tighten it up, and you re all set. INSET PICTURE
OF RAISED TOILET SEAT. And there s also the adjustable frame that fits around the toilet.
INSET PICTURE OF VERSAFRAME. THE PROFESSIONAL TURNS TO THE CAMERA AND EXPLAINS THE LAST
FEW HELPFUL TIPS AND CLOSES WITH THE THANK YOU. VNSNY Professional: A safer bathroom
can help prevent falls and other accidents that can lead to injuries, poor health, lengthy
hospital stays and loss of independence. Visit VNSNY.ORG/BATHROOM-SAFETY for more tips on
bathroom safety and links to other helpful resources. SUPER: VNSNY.ORG/BATHROOM-SAFETY
For more tips on caring for your elderly parent, please watch our other videos at vnsny.org/howto.
Thank you. SUPER: www.vnsny.org/howto gdn] gdn] HOW TO MAKE THE BATHROOM SAFER FOR YOUR
ELDERLY PARENT Jenny Briskman Normal.dot Visiting Nurse Service of NY Microsoft Word 10.0 The
Seiden Group HOW TO MAKE THE BATHROOM SAFER FOR YOUR ELDERLY PARENT Title Microsoft Word
Document MSWordDoc Word.Document.8

19 Comments

AwakeDude911

Oct 10, 2012, 2:52 pm Reply

or you can be a good son and remodel that old 70's slip and fall (SLICK TILE ) with some 2012 no skid tile and tub !

that bathroom sink is bigger than the pooping place (what) hows 45lbs mom gonna fit in there?

no ,no my fellow tubers redo this bath room and SAVE A LIFE !
unless you want some winfall money from accidental death ,then its good to go!

marknew91

Nov 11, 2012, 4:33 pm Reply

Freaking awesome, dude, great job. I'm working on this for my wife who has a disability and had NO IDEA where to look. So thank you nurses, video guys and maintenance guy for this video. I'm giving you guys a thumbs up; I'd give you two if they let me. All I can say is: Finally, something USEFUL on Youtube lol!

Jaime Alonzo

Jan 1, 2015, 10:09 pm Reply

Thanks for the video.

Debra Seiling

Jan 1, 2015, 12:08 am Reply

This video was extremely informative. I appreciate all the tips and demonstrations of how to make the bathroom safer for the elderly.

Ali M

Apr 4, 2015, 8:52 pm Reply

Thanks for sharing useful tips

Alison Dennis

May 5, 2015, 9:46 pm Reply

One more thing.  Consider changing the bathroom door so it opens outward rather than inward.  My 93 year old dad fell in the bathroom and I could not get in there to help him up because the door opened inward and he was laying next to the door.  Fortunately, he was able to get up on his own.

JAS M

Jul 7, 2015, 7:11 pm Reply

Where did you purchase the grab bar for the side of the tub?

William Madden Jr

Aug 8, 2015, 7:03 pm Reply

Great synopsis. Another idea in lieu of grab bars in some specific situations is a wall ledge at 36" height, especially in new construction. Some people can have trouble gripping and desire instead to just lean on or place ones hand on a ledge when positioning oneself on the toilet, for example may be better than actual grab bars for some people.

Too Cute

Apr 4, 2016, 4:32 pm Reply

Thanks!  Helpful information.

Monisa Montoya

May 5, 2016, 6:17 pm Reply

My jetted tub is not against a wall so that u grab is something have never seen and need to get.

Charlie O’Hearn

Dec 12, 2016, 8:41 pm Reply

These are great tips. we added the grab bar to my dad's tub an dhe could definitely use another just outside of the tun on the wall and next to the commode.

Scott Liewehr

Nov 11, 2017, 10:24 pm Reply

You could also get a Brak Tub. Seriously, they make so much sense. Check out the video on this page: https://braktub.com

Sonny

Feb 2, 2018, 10:35 pm Reply

Great Video. Thank you for posting.

JoAvila

Sep 9, 2018, 7:23 am Reply

This video was great! Thank you so much !

Subhodh S

Oct 10, 2018, 3:17 am Reply

Thank you so much

Princess Smurfette

Dec 12, 2018, 4:04 am Reply

I have the same kind of adjustable rails for the toilet & having issues with the legs not staying in place so the rails aren't secure like they should be & I'v been looking for some sort of contraption that's made to put on the legs to secure them in place & I haven't had any luck. Help please

Alexis Herrera

Apr 4, 2019, 3:30 pm Reply

Thank you

Lee J. Erdo

Jun 6, 2019, 11:44 am Reply

Here's an idea….listen up builders….if you have a home with two bathrooms, why not make one bathroom a walk in shower, with a high rise toilet, a wider doorway for wheel chairs and walkers, easy solution…..also, this country needs to get rid of all those lower toilets….and replace them with high rise toilets….whenever I go into the restroom, there are always people who don't need to use the handicapped stall who use it? Why, they like the higher rise toilet….they are easier to get off of. Plan for the future now….a few changes make a big difference.

Divyanshu Jain

Aug 8, 2019, 2:44 pm Reply

Any idea about how to have a softer surface for walking floor in the bathroom. So that even if they fall, it hurts minimum !!

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