The Importance Of Making Your Commercial Restroom Safe For Older People
It may seem like common sense to make sure that your commercial restroom is safe for older people, but accidents happen. The article will list things to think about when designing or updating a commercial restroom to make it safer for older people.
Properly placed grab bars help prevent slips and falls
Recent research shows that one out of three people over 65-years-old experience fall accidents. As you should already know, falls are extremely dangerous for senior citizens. Grab bars can decrease falls by 31 per cent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Grab bars in a commercial restroom can make a huge difference when it comes to safety in older adults. Not only do they provide support while using the toilet, but they also give people something to hold onto while getting up/down off of it. This not only helps with short-term issues like falling but long-term ones like staying independent.
If you own an elderly care facility or assisted living centre where older adults reside long term, installing grab bars is one of the most important things you can do for their safety. Modern grab bar designs have better mounting systems than older models, which makes grab bars installation easier and more convenient because you no longer need a wall stud support to have it installed. The best way to determine if your commercial restrooms have correctly installed grab bars is by checking to see if there’s a slight gap between the wall and bar. If this isn’t done, older adults won’t be able to use it for support while getting up/down from the toilet because they’ll either hit their head on it or slide right off. Grab bars should have at least 30 inches of space on both sides of the toilet which is typically around the midpoint of a standard 5′-0″ wall. They should also be placed close enough to where people are likely to stand when washing their hands so that they can easily reach them.
Clear pathways and adequate lighting will help prevent accidents caused by trips and falls. Projecting floor signs should also be considered for older people who may have trouble seeing small prints on directional signs. Make sure the signs are in large and bold letters and can be visible even when placed on dark corners. Also, most old people and people with disabilities have a service dog that accompanies them. It is important to ensure that the commercial restroom they must use is accessible for both them and their service dog. The space in the restrooms should be enough to accommodate both the owners and their pet companions.
Proper sink height prevents posture problems
The height of your sink can make a big difference in how easy it is for older people to wash their hands. Make sure that the faucet isn’t too high and that you don’t have to lift your arms too much. If there’s a sensor-tap, make sure it works – if not go for an old school one where they only need the weight of their hands. If you are installing new sinks, sinks with lower water spouts can help prevent spills by making them more accessible for those with limited mobility, including arthritis sufferers. Lower sinks also prevent back injuries related to prolonged standing at taller sinks.
Ergonomic faucets give a comfortable handwashing experience
Make sure that all taps are easy enough to use with arthritic fingers by having levers on the tap heads and not twiddly knobs or buttons which will be hard to grip. The water pressure should also be fairly light so older people don’t get knocked over by powerful jets of water! You should also have a call button so if they need assistance they can ask for help. Tissue papers or hand dryers should always be available nearby for them to dry their hands before they use the grab bars, their walking sticks, or wheelchair.
Restroom amenity access gives comfort and satisfaction
Old people might have problems reaching the toilet paper, so try to put them on a table or somewhere low down. You need to make sure that there’s enough paper and that it dispenses easily. Make sure it’s not an old-fashioned crank handle one as those are very hard to use – you want something where they just have to push a button! Also, if your toilet is really close to the wall then older people might have trouble getting close enough because of their hip issues! We’d recommend more than 50cm away from the wall. The same can be said about soap dispensers. They should be fairly easy to operate, preferably with soft levers or sensors for touch-free handwashing. To ensure that everyone has access to these amenities, it is important to install dispensers that are easy to reach even at wheelchair height. Ensure gloves are available too where appropriate (e.g., dentist’s offices).
Remember that commercial restroom users come in all shapes and sizes. Elderly users can be among them. By keeping these things in mind when designing or updating your commercial restroom, you can help make everyone safe and happy!