As we get older, our bodies change, and so do our needs. Things that we used to do every day without thought can become challenging or even impossible. And as daily care and hygiene become more difficult, it can feel as if we are losing our independence. Unfortunately, many senior citizens find it difficult to complete simple tasks like bathing and brushing their teeth. But with a few senior-friendly adaptations to their home’s plumbing, they can regain the ability to care for themselves and restore their dignity.
Consider New Fixtures
Aching joints, arthritis, and loss of grip and hand strength can make just tuning on a faucet painful or impossible. The fixtures in many older showers and bathtubs use knobs to turn the water on and divert the water flow to the showerhead. But gripping these round knobs can be impossible. The installation of level-style faucets and fixtures can be a game-changer for older adults. The lever requires less grip and is simple to open and close completely.
It is also essential to think about safety in the shower or bathtub. Standing for several minutes to bathe can be stressful for many older folks. However, sitting on a shower seat can make it most challenging when using a standard showerhead. The solution is a sprayer showerhead that can be detached for use while seated. Or it can be replaced in the bracket for use by other members of the household.
In the kitchen, it can be challenging to handle wet slippery dishes without dropping them. That makes rinsing dishes and cookware very difficult. The addition of a faucet that has a pull-down sprayer offers a safe and simple solution. Place dishes in the sink and bring the water to the dishes rather than the other way around.
Mind The Water Temperature
It can be very annoying to run your hands under water that feels hot enough to cause burns. And if you are in the shower and the water becomes too hot, it is very easy to fall, trying to avoid a burn. The simple truth is that as we get older, our skin becomes more sensitive. Water that used to feel marvelous in the shower is now hot enough to burn your skin. The solution is simple and will save you some money. Turn the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees or less. This setting will prevent burns and reduce the amount of power your water heater is consuming.
Avoiding Falls Is Critical
We all need a hand now and then. But in potentially wet areas, it is better to have a handrail. Installing safety grab bars at toilets and showers is a great way to increase your safety and independence. The added security of holding a bar when stepping into and out of the shower or tub is well worth the cost of having these safety features professionally installed. They are also convenient if you have trouble standing up from a seated position. One bar beside the toilet will provide added support when sitting down and standing up. Don’t forget to also install non-slip mats in the tub or shower and by the sink and toilet for added safety in potentially wet places.
As we age, it is crucial to make changes in our homes to ensure that we can remain safe as we move through our daily routine. Call (301) 278-8786 to speak to the licensed plumbers at A Better Plumber & Air Conditioning about safety features for your home. Our pros can explain the latest senior-friendly plumbing devices and fixtures to make navigating your home less stressful and dangerous.