7 Safety Tips for Aging Adults Who Use the Restroom at Night

Aging adults sometimes experience health changes that make them more likely to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. Medication side effects, incontinence, and insomnia are just a few possible reasons for late-night toileting. But walking in the dark while half-awake places aging adults at risk for injuries and wandering. Here are a few bathroom safety for seniors tips:

nighttime toilet

1. Install a Bed Rail

The urge to use the bathroom could cause your loved one to get out of bed too quickly. A bed rail provides something sturdy to balance with and prevents falling out of the bed at night.

2. Install Proper Lighting

Motion-sensing night lights and bathroom lighting make life easier for an older adult living at home. Place automatic night lights in your loved one’s room, in the hallway, and in other areas along the walking path to the bathroom. Also, keep a lamp on the nightstand for your loved one to use right away if they wake up.

3. Use Slip-Resistant Flooring

Make sure your loved one has safe floors to walk on. While rugs might seem like the solution for slippery tile, they are a tripping hazard, especially at night. Check the floors often, and replace carpet that has wrinkled. If you use rugs, make sure they have slip-resistant backing.

4. Highlight the Bathroom Route

Older adults living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease may get lost on the way to the restroom. Consider using colored tape along the hallway to guide your loved one to the right place. Glow-in-the-dark materials are great for illuminating this path at night, and you can also paint the bathroom door a bright color.

5. Use a Motion Activated Toilet

Lights can be placed on toilets to draw attention. A motion-activated toilet also helps aging adults maintain their focus in the restroom. And always make sure the toilet is located near a handrail so your loved one has a sturdy place to keep their balance when sitting and rising.

6. Provide a Call Device

Older adults with limited mobility may need help using the toilet. Place an intercom or phone near your loved one’s bed so he or she can call a caregiver for assistance.

7. Keep Vision Clear

It is easy for anyone, let alone an aging adult, to forget to put eyeglasses on when rushing to use the bathroom. Make sure your loved one has a pair by the bed, and consider placing an extra pair in the bathroom itself. With the right lighting and proper eyewear, your loved one will be able to navigate night-time bathroom runs more safely.

Keeping your loved one’s place in tidy order can help prevent falls and readmissions. If you are concerned about the health and safety of someone you care about, give us a call at TheKey and we’ll put together a Care Plan to keep them safe at home.

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