There are many challenging moments when caring for a loved one. Some of the trickiest can be bathroom breaks. It can be challenging to assist someone you love and respect with such an intimate and usually private task. It’s important to keep in mind safety is the main objective when caring for an elderly individual and should be priority at all times. Read through a few of these tips we’ve compiled to help you navigate through those tricky moments with your senior.

As a rule, you want to create a clear pathway to the bathroom. Be sure to remove all clutter and anything in the way. Make sure the pathway is well-lit at all times, especially at night with the use of automatic nightlights. You want to make it easy for them to go to the bathroom on their own, if and when possible. Avoid the use of floor mats or rugs of any kind. They are extremely dangerous and could lead to a slip and fall. If there is a step up or down into the bathroom, have your older adult practice side-stepping over it to reduce the risk of them tripping over it.

As the elder you’re caring for may be weak, look into grab bars for the toilet. They are easy to install, come in a variety of styles, and provide the proper support for restroom use. Should you need, you can remove them easily and re-install them at any time. Many at-home care caregivers are opting for raised toilet seats. They come with arm rests for those who cannot bend down to standard toilets. Lastly, we suggest toilet tissue aids that assist in wiping. Reaching behind to wipe can be difficult at times, so purchasing one can make bathroom use more comfortable. Be sure to explain and walk your senior through the improvements you make for them. Having them aware of any changes is the first step to a safe transition and they’ll appreciate you involving them in their care.