When an elderly family member moves in with you -- or when you and an elderly family member move into a new home -- it's important to improve the safety of each room. One of the most dangerous rooms for elders is the shower. The shower is a naturally slippery, enclosed space that obscures vision. Here are a few ways that you can make it a bit safer.
1. Use a Double Entry Door
A double entry door creates a larger entrance and exit area for your family member, in addition to ensuring that the doors open out of the way. Double entry doors are ideal for larger showers, but they can also be installed on smaller showers as well -- showers that are in a corner, for instance, can have two doors that open on the surfaces that aren't connected to the wall. This gives your family member more area to move and navigate.
2. Avoid Sliding Doors
Sliding doors tend to be very dangerous because they can move unexpectedly. Sliding doors can also break if they are not made properly due to the vibration on the frame -- and they usually aren't as stable as other types of door because they are only secured at the top and the bottom.
3. Place the Door Against the Ground
Rather than having the door offset from the flooring, you should have a sealing door that goes all the way down. Any lip at the edge of the shower will be something that your family member could trip and fall on. Shower doors that go all the way to the floor don't have this tripping hazard. As long as they are properly sealed, they won't leak any water during the shower. An interior drainage system generally prevents flooding when the shower door is opened and the shower is exited.
4. Keep the Door Transparent
Opaque doors may be excellent for privacy, but it can actually be dangerous to obscure an individual's view. Keep your door transparent; instead, you can frost over your bathroom's glass windows or invest in an opaque shower curtain. A transparent door will also aid your family member in keeping their balance and remaining oriented; it's very easy to become disoriented if you can't see clearly.
In addition to replacing and improving upon the doors, you may also want to consider placing a stool in the shower and placing grip mats throughout the bathroom. All of these steps will reduce the risk of slipping and falling, which can be incredibly dangerous for the elderly. Contact a business such as Bradenton Window & Allied Products for more information.