Bringing personality into your apartment bathroom is usually pretty high on your list. But before you get too caught up in decorating, remember to make safety a priority.
At first, it can seem challenging. I was daunted when I helped some older family members move into a rented condo. I could tell they would need some safety features in the bathroom, but there were strict rules in their lease that prohibited drilling holes into the tile or permanently attaching things to the walls. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do.
A bit of exploring led me to learn designers of safety equipment were way ahead of me in creating easy-to-use items that don’t damage the walls, fixtures or floors. Once I learned how easy it was to add safety to a bathroom, I checked my own home for safety needs. After all, preventing slips and falls is important for people of every age.
If you’re looking for ideas for your apartment bathroom that will keep your family safe, you can start with this checklist.
Switch Out Your Showerhead
It’s easy to unscrew the existing showerhead and replace it with a handheld showerhead, or one that monitors water temperature. A handheld showerhead is a great idea for family members who can’t safely stand while washing, but it’s also convenient for bathing small children and pets. Be sure to keep the apartment’s original showerhead so you can put it back when you move.
Take a Seat
If standing is difficult, or even if it is tiring, a shower seat is a good plan. Be sure to purchase a chair specifically designed to be used in the shower because it will come with non-slip, sturdy feet. A regular plastic chair will not provide the same level of safety. While apartment bathroom space can be tight, don’t let it hold you back. You can find bath benches that fold totally flat and tuck out of the way, or benches that rest neatly on the tub’s edge.
Step in Safely
If you steady yourself while climbing in and out of the shower or bath by either placing your hand on the wall, or worse, holding on to an unsupportive towel bar, consider adding a grab bar.
In an apartment, you can add suction or tension-controlled grab bars instead of ones that are drilled into the wall permanently. Or, add a bathtub safety rail to your tub, which uses tension and non-damaging rubber grips to safely attach a handle to the bathtub. The handle will allow you to step in and out with confidence.
You can also increase safety by adding suction cup grab bars. They can be placed on the tile or wall at any location where some steady assistance would help.
Protect Against Slips
Prevent slipping inside the shower with a rubber bath mat. These use rows of small suction cups to stay firmly in place without damaging the shower. On the floor outside of the shower, make sure you are stepping onto a rug designed for slippery surfaces. Choose a rug that has an attached non-slip rubber backing.
Personalize Your Family’s Safety
Every family has different safety needs. It’s very important you take into consideration all the factors that apply to your family including family members’ ages and health issues.
Some of the possible concerns include:
- Shower Shaving: Balancing on one foot in a wet shower while holding a sharp razor doesn’t seem to be the best of ideas, but many people juggle it. Add help with balancing with a non-damaging suction foot rest.
- Toileting: There are a number of toilet risers which add hand-holds or arms to your toilet to assist people who may fall as they struggle to stand or sit. Choose one which attaches to the toilet seat screw holes so they are easily removed and can move with you.
- Children: Be sure to address child safety in addition to the other items. Pay attention to the numerous opportunities for child injury in your bathroom. There are many options to add to child bathroom safety. A few of those include locks for the toilet, tub faucet covers, tub thermometer and outlet plugs as well as childproofing gear for cabinets that hold medications, personal care items and cleaning supplies.
Check your bathroom with fresh eyes and keep a look out for your family members’ needs, whether they are young or old. Adding a little extra precaution here and there can prevent a big injury for people of any age. To find out other ways to make your bathroom safer for young children, visit this interactive from The Home Depot.
Lea Schneider is a DIYer and organizational expert who writes about topics that range from organizing your kitchen to making your bathroom safe. To find many of the bath safety products and bathroom accessories that Lea discusses in this article, visit The Home Depot.