An Old Chick Named Hazel

Meet Hazel, a spunky 80 year old who wants to age gracefully in her own home.   This blog series provides tips and links to products to help seniors live independently in their current home.  

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Make The Bathroom A No Fall Zone

Updated: Mar 5, 2019

“I just don’t want to fall in the bathroom”, said Hazel. Hazel is not able to sit in the bath tub any more. She can’t lift herself up from a sitting position. So she takes a lot of showers. Sometimes in the shower she worries about slipping and falling and standing for a long time. So to keep from slipping, use a flannel pillow case on the shower floor. It doesn’t slide in the shower and it doesn’t get slippery with the use of soap like some bath pads. The good thing about the flannel pillow case is that it is easy to wring out when done or just hang up to dry.

There is also a portable grab bar in the shower. It has a suction cup that you can attach to the shower wall and use it to hold on to if you need to keep your balance. These portable grab bars can be used in other parts of the house as well (not on drywall) and since they are portable, you can take them with you while travelling. There are other grab bars that you can also install. Consider installing a hard grab bar next to the toilet so your senior can have some support getting up from the toilet. Hang a towel on it so they don't have to reach too far for a towel to dry their hands.

When Hazel couldn’t stand up well, she used a plastic chair in the shower, the type you can buy in the summer time to sit outside for picnics. You can also buy a shower chair which is more expensive. There are also shower chairs with an extender to get in the tub. Using the chair lets Hazel sit comfortably and shower as long as she likes. For the shower, Hazel uses a hand held shower head that allows her to reach more places. This is especially helpful for her when sitting in a chair in the shower. Someone had to install the shower head for her but it was well worth the cost.

Make sure any rugs that you put down in the bathroom are non-skid rugs with rubber backing. Check the rubber backing after washing to make sure the rugs don’t become skid city.

Hazel also uses a shower caddy like the type used by college students in dorms. That way she doesn’t have to carry a lot of stuff in her hands when going back and forth to take a shower. But if your senior is set on taking a bath consider installing a walk-in tub. They are costly but may be worth a try.

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