The most substantial risk and threat to living independently at home are falls. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related visits to the emergency room in the U.S. and represent the cause of 75% of the accidental deaths in people over 65. Falls also resulted in 85% of the non fatal hospital injuries for people 65 and over.
Fortunately there is a lot of that can be done to make homes safer for seniors in preventing falls and handicap bathroom design has become a major consideration for seniors living with disabilities. This aspect is often also considered with sustainable home design.
Beginning on the outside of the home, safe entry into and out of the home is tantamount. If stairs are present and the senior is able to negotiate them without issue, hand rails can be installed to match the homes décor that offer added stability. When stairs are a challenge, stair chair lifts, platforms lifts and elevators are all options limited only by individual budget. Automatic door openers also known as handicap door openers are a wonderful option for both interior and exterior doors.
When a pool is present in the home, an ADA pool lift can make all the difference in safely entering and leaving the pool.
Bathrooms are singularly responsible for more accidents than any other place in the home and as a result, walk in tubs & showers have become very popular. A walk in shower, also known as handicap showers (with no curb), allow for access without needing to step over something. There are also wheelchair accessible showers that allow access in a wheelchair or with a walker. Walk in bath tubs and handicap tubs allow safe access while stepping over a low curb through an entry door. Regardless of the selection of barrier free showers or walk-in shower, they all provide more safe access than standard units and help to avoid dangerous falls.
There are many types of bathroom safety bars. In the bathing zone, bathtub grab bars offer added support in hundreds of colors and finishes to match your personal décor. The same goes for other handicap grab bars in other locations. Toilet safety rails that fold up and out of the way when not in use add tremendous safety value around the toilet area. Many choices of bathroom safety bars are also available such as the Superpole for support in getting up or in and out of your ADA shower stall.
Comfort height toilets which are higher than standard toilets installed with color coordinated toilet grab bars offer safe use in the toilet area. A qualified bathroom designer can include all the necessary items in your bathroom design, rendering it both safe and attractive for years to come.