The need for toilet assistance is common amongst many older adults, but seniors might feel embarrassed when asking for help. Nevertheless, support in the bathroom is critical to ensure an aging person does not slip, fall, or otherwise suffer an injury on the slick and hard surfaces of the bathroom.
What are the dangers in the bathroom for the elderly?
When it comes to seniors, dangers lurk in the bathroom. Wet bathroom floors create a perilous place in which falls can readily occur. Even worse, older people have a tendency to rush to the bathroom. Hurrying to reach the toilet is a common reason for falls.
Combined with seniors’ poor vision and inadequate lighting in or near the bathroom, falls are likely. Preventing injury can be easily accomplished by installing motion sensor lights. The lights turn on as soon as the senior enters the bathroom and fumbling for the light switch becomes unnecessary.
Straining in the bathroom also can cause a drop in blood pressure. Low blood pressure symptoms include lightheadedness, dizziness, and fainting. Moving stools stimulates the vagus nerve, which can result in low blood pressure. Very low blood pressure requires medical attention.
Additionally, standing up from the toilet after being seated can cause low blood pressure. The senior who experiences low blood pressure upon rising from the toilet might feel faint or dizzy. Falling in the bathroom is possible when these symptoms are present.
All these reasons make it important for seniors to receive help when using the toilet. Family members may not be trained to physically support a senior and could risk becoming injured. Professional in-home caregivers, however, are skilled in correct toilet assistance techniques.
Should caregivers schedule regular bathroom trips?
An urgent need to use the toilet may arise after a senior consumes a large amount of liquids or solid foods. As mentioned, rushing toward the bathroom can lead to a fall. Instead, caregivers are advised to accompany the senior to the bathroom on a regular basis.
Urgency to use the toilet and bathroom accidents are reduced when an elderly individual makes a trip to the bathroom every few hours or after consuming a meal. Allow the senior to walk to the toilet at his own pace but remain close in the event he wobbles or trips.
Is accessible clothing a better choice?
Seniors with arthritic hands may find it difficult to unbutton clothing before using the toilet. Caregivers who supply care recipients with accessible clothing options, such as pants with elastic waistbands, make it easier for the senior to remove clothing items in order to use the bathroom.
What instructions should caregivers provide?
Short instructions are effective when communicating with a senior. The elderly individual will know what to expect when clear directions are given. Speaking slowly, caregivers should ask the senior to take small steps and turn around once the toilet is immediately behind him.
Once near the toilet, caregivers can instruct the older adult to place his hands on the caregiver’s forearms to ensure steadiness. A caregiver might say, “The toilet is right behind you. Squat slowly.” Allow ample time for the senior to execute the given task.
As the senior lowers himself onto the toilet seat, the caregiver can provide stability by placing her hands on the senior’s trunk or hips. Avoid pulling arms or legs, as fragile limbs can be injured. Caregivers who bend their knees while offering support prevent injury to their back.
Where should hygiene products be placed?
Toiletries should be kept within the senior’s reach. In some bathrooms, shelving is too far from the toilet. In such cases, fill a basket with hygiene essentials and place it next to the toilet. Fill the basket with items, like personal cleansing cloths and extra toilet paper.
Do bathroom aids support toilet use?
Seniors may find it easier to use the toilet with bathroom aids. A toilet tissue aid allows the elderly individual to wipe on the toilet more easily. Install a grab bar toilet paper holder to enable a secure grip. Toilet safety rails are ideal for seniors with mobility issues.
A senior who uses a walker should be advised to not hold onto it when using the toilet, since doing so could result in the walker tipping over. Instead, if the toilet features arms, ask the senior to transfer his hands from the walker to the toilet seat arms.
What safety tips are caregivers advised to practice?
Caregivers who incorrectly attempt to physically support the weight of a senior during bathroom trips risk injury. A senior should never be instructed to pull on the caregiver, as doing so could lead to injury in either the caregiver or senior. Bend at the knees rather than at the waist.
Aging adults are often too embarrassed to ask family members for help using the toilet. Preserve dignity in the family by hiring an in-home caregiver to assist with personal hygiene tasks. Assisting Hands Home Care professionals are trained to provide discreet assistance with toileting, bathing, and grooming.
Professional caregivers also help elder care recipients with daily activities, like brushing teeth, combing hair, and shaving. We are skilled in providing assistance to seniors with incontinence issues. Elderly individuals who struggle with mobility find ample help with our transfer assistance services.
As a reputable home care agency, Assisting Hands Home Care serves the elderly in all the activities of daily living. Our comprehensive services also include providing transportation, preparing meals, giving medication reminders, and serving as pleasant companions to reduce isolation.
Assisting Hands Home Care services are designed to suit the unique needs of seniors in our care. We conduct an initial assessment to determine care needs and develop a customized care plan. Scheduling is flexible, and we accommodate families’ various scheduling needs.
When your loved one needs compassionate support at home, choose Assisting Hands Home Care. Our elder care services meet the care needs of countless families with aging loved ones living in Bourbonnais, Frankfurt, Matteson and Mokena, Illinois. Call us at (708) 880-7711 for a complimentary consultation.