Safety becomes a greater concern as people age. The majority of homes today are built for younger families. Young able-bodied people don’t have much difficulty climbing up and down stairs. This could become very challenging if not impossible for older people due to their weakening muscles. Preventing falls and maintaining balance are a major concern.
It can be very scary and dangerous when an older person falls. In the U.S. falls cause the most deaths to seniors. For seniors over 70 years old, 25% limit their daily activities due to the fear of falling and the helpless feeling of not being able to get off the floor. A trip to the bathroom can be very scary too as they can come across wet floors or slick surfaces that can easily cause a fall.
A different approach is needed for spaces designed specifically for seniors. The bathroom is usually the most dangerous place for seniors and this is a good place to start the redesign. One simple and inexpensive thing to do is getting a shower bench that can keep your loved one secured while bathing.
Seniors can get their independence back by making use of a transfer bath chair or a shower bench. They can be positioned so that half is outside the tub and half inside. They can easily sit on the outer part and slide over to the inner part to get access to the shower controls.
Wheelchair users can use the transfer bath chair to take baths by just sliding onto the chair and transferring over the curb.
Installing a shower bench in your shower stall is fairly simple. No drilling of holes in the floor is required. Just assemble it and use it. There are transfer benches that come already assembled. There are a variety of prices, styles and sizes of shower benches and the one you choose will depend on your needs. They are mostly made of metal or heavy duty plastic and can generally support as much as 250 lbs.
These sturdy heavy-duty frames minimize the risk of falling and make showering much more convenient for seniors. People with disabilities will also find these benches useful because of the stability they provide, especially for those with balance problems or weak legs.
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