Friday, October 14, 2011

8 Common Bathroom Needs the of the 8- and 88-Year-Old

An 8-year-old child and an 88-year-old lady have some surprisingly similar needs in the bathroom.  Why? 

Slips and Falls

A study from the Center of Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio discovered that more than 43,000 children are treated in an emergency room each year after a bathroom- or shower-related injury, most resulting from slips and falls. Also, one in three senior citizens fall annually and most of those falls occur in the bathroom.

The Waste Basket Hazards

A bathroom waste basket can be a risk to children and seniors. 

For children it’s a treasure trove to investigate – plastic bags, razor blades and unused medications.  Children see them as toys, but games could lead to suffocation, cuts and more. 
For senior citizens the waste basket falls in the category of “clutter,” which equals the opportunity to trip and fall. 

It’s Out of Reach
Seniors who navigate the bathroom in a wheel chair and children struggle to reach light switches and vanities. 

Ouch it’s Hot

According to the American Hospital Association, more than 112,000 end up in emergency rooms each year for scald-related injuries. Children and seniors have the greatest risk of being a victim of scalding in a steamy bath or shower.

The 8 and 88 Year Old Both Need

1.   A non-slip bathroom floor.
2.   Anti-slip mats in the bath and shower.  (And please keep the suction-side down.  I saw senior with a broken arm at the supermarket.  Explanation: her shower mat was the wrong way up.)
3.    Grab bars around the bath and shower.
4.   Waste basket in bathroom cabinet.  If children are around, add a lock to the cabinet.
5.   Lower light switches.
6.   A lower vanity, at a comfortable height for someone sitting.
7.   A lower or adjustable-height shower head.
8.   A hot water regulator to reduce the risk of scalding.
The surprising thing is that while these changes work for 8 and 88-year olds, they also work for all ages in between.  That’s why it’s called universal design.  And isn’t universal design better than Peter Pan design -- for those people who never age?  Ever met someone like that?  Maybe a lot of us are in denial.

Bye for now…..George Flowers

Can you think of any other needs that both the elderly and children share in the bathroom?

What bathroom modifications have you seen made for either children or seniors?

No comments:

Post a Comment