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Making the Bathroom a Safer Place
The bathroom is where the majority of falls- many of which cause serious injury that require a trip to the hospital – occur. Most people with disabilities could benefit from equipment that helps them bathe and use the toilet safely.
- Grab Bars: Adding grab bars in the shower, on either side of the toilet, and next to the sink can improve safety. You can even find a toilet paper dispenser that has a built in grab bar.
- Higher Toilets: Most home toilets are too low, requiring use of leg and abdominal muscles. From a simple pad to raising the entire toilet can help. There are also devices that raise and lower the seat for others in the same household.
- Walking Rails: adding walking rails to the wall leading into the bathroom ensures that whenever a person stands, there’s a grab bar they can use.
- Shower/Bathtub: To prevent slips and falls, remove any obstructions to getting in or out. Look into a roll in option. This may require a renovation. You can add a wall mounted, height-adjustable shower chair. There are even removable chairs with transfer benches built in.
- Slip Proof Mats: Add slip proof mats on the floor and in the tub to reduce fall risk. Make sure they are not a tripping hazard.
- Lighting: Motion-activated night lights are inexpensive and provide adequate illumination for using the bathroom at night. Adding one to the hallway can be helpful too.
Many of these solutions are covered by Medicare, but if you are finding it difficult to afford what you need, contact your local CIL to see if there is a loan program you can access.