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Top Safety Aids to Help the Elderly in the Bathroom

The bathroom can be a difficult place to navigate for the elderly and people of any age with disabilities. Seniors may need to use wheelchairs, walkers, canes, or other aids to get around the house, as well as in the bathroom. There are several additional safety aids that can be added to the bathroom to help people use the facilities safely.

Safety aids include:

  • Grab bars on the walls near the toilet and in the shower or tub
  • Special shower seat
  • Elevated toilet seat
  • Non-slip flooring
  • Walk-in bathtub
  • Shower without a barrier

Tub and Shower Safety Aids

Universal Design is a special program that makes all areas of a house accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities. This is extremely important for seniors and others with limited mobility. Further, Universal Design suggests a shower without any barrier to make it easier for people in wheelchairs or with walkers to enter the shower. All showers should have grab bars for better balance. Install stainless steel bars or handles with suction cups in the bathroom. The shower slopes gently toward a center drain for water runoff. It can also have a linear drain that collects water near the shower headwall. The showerhead can be lowered, or it can be the hand-held type with an adjustable spigot. There are many varieties on the market.

Various types of shower seats are also available for comfort and safety aids. Many have a back to the seat along with adjustable arm handles. Others may have just a seat. The legs of the shower seat should be adjustable to accommodate the height of the individual. There are many walk-in tubs on the market designed for seniors and others who find it difficult to lift their legs over a tub. These tubs may have seats and the popular hand-held shower head.

Toilet and Sink Safety Aids

Special portable seats that fit over the toilet are available for people with mobility problems. These seats have adjustable legs that make them a little higher. The seats can be removed so that others can use the toilet at the usual height. The seat also has a receptacle to use it as a bedside if necessary. Other special seats are available for people in wheelchairs who have limited use of their lower body.

Sinks may need to be at a lower level to help seniors in wheelchairs. Grab bars should be located next to sinks and the toilet to assist with balance.

The Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP)

CDPAP is a New York State Medicaid Program that will compensate the caregiver of your choice to help you with daily living activities. In order to qualify for CDPAP, a person must be eligible for Medicaid, be able to direct their own care and choose their caregiver and need help with their activities of daily living.

Elite Choice

Elite Choice, is a fiscal intermediary for CDPAP, supporting at-home caregivers and their loved ones so that being cared for in your own home is a blessing for everyone. We are proud to have resources available to help support caregivers. Have any questions? Call us today and we will be glad to help! 

Written by: Leah Ganz
Director of Patient Services

Leah Ganz, RN, BSN is the Director of Patient Services at Elite Home Health Care. She has an extensive background in homecare and previously worked in various specialties including pediatrics, pain management and internal medicine. She oversees all patient services across Elite's departments.