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w Allow adequate time to complete tasks. Rushing can lead to stress which can lead to spasms or accidents.
w Have towels close by the tub or shower and sink.
w Use a stool to sit on while brushing your teeth, shaving, drying or styling your hair, putting on cosmetics, etc. to conserve energy.
w Rest your elbows on the counter or vanity if your arms tire easily.
w Leave the doors to the bottom cabinets open to accommodate your knees if you sit on a stool but need to be closer to the sink.
w Use a hand-held or vanity mirror, preferably with a magnifying side, to do close up work rather than trying to bend across the sink to reach a wall-mounted mirror.
w A long-handled sponge or brush can help you reach your back and lower legs.
w Electric or battery operated toothbrushes can help if your arms tire easily.
w Electric razors can help you avoid cuts.
w Consider a hands-free hair dryer or hair dryer stand.
w A stool in the shower or bathtub can help you avoid falls.
w Non-slip mats made for the inside of the tub and shower can help you avoid slipping.
w Non-slip rugs with rubber backs next to the edge of the tub and the shower can help you avoid slipping when you step out.
w Grab bars, installed by hardware or adhered to the wall, can help you get into/out of the tub or on/off the toilet. Have the bars professionally installed if at all possible.
w Do not use toilet paper holders, towel bars, or other fixtures to help you stand or sit.
w Do not use bar soap, especially if you cannot bend down.
w Install a nightlight in the bathroom.
w Bring a cordless phone into the bathroom with you and have it within reach should you fall.
w Lower your water temperature to 120 degrees to avoid accidental burns or install scald-guards.
w Consider installing a hand-held shower head.
w Turn the light on before entering the bathroom.
w Consider installing a shelf or shower caddy in the shower to avoid having to bend down.
w Consider installing hands-free faucets.
w Levers are easier to turn than knobs. Consider changing out faucet fixtures.
w Installing a pedestal sink makes it easier to maneuver around in a bathroom with walking aids or a wheelchair.
w Consider removing cabinet doors and linen closet doors to make access to stored items easier and so that wheelchair users can better approach the sink.
w Install a sturdy toilet seat. Cheap plastic seats can slide and throw you off balance.
w Elevated toilet seats with grab bars can help you get onto and off of the toilet.
w There are many types and styles from rings that sit on the existing toilet, chair frames that straddle an existing toilet, beside toilets, etc. These can be ordered through your local pharmacy or purchased at local home improvement stores. You can also order bars that straddle the toilet to help you rise and lower yourself onto the seat.
w Portable toilets can be placed next to the bed if you have trouble reaching the bathroom in an emergency.
Electric toilet seat lifts can also be installed.
w Start visiting the bathroom routinely throughout the day, even if you don't feel the urge, perhaps every two hours during your waking hours.
w Visit the bathroom right before you go to bed.
w Monitor your water intake and reduce caffeinated drinks that act as diuretics, such as coffee, tea, and soft drinks.
If you find yourself going frequently during the night, limit evening fluid intake for the two hours preceding your bedtime.
w Incontinence products offer support during the night time hours and if you are bedridden and need assistance in getting to the bathroom.
w There are many brands of disposable underwear products. These can be doubled if necessary.
w Incontinence products also offer you more security when you are away from home.
w There are "condom" catheters for men.
w Disposable plastic lined absorbent pads can be placed on top of the sheets. A plastic mattress shield can be placed on the mattress to protect it from accidents.
w If you need help transferring to the toilet, make sure your caregiver is trained in how to help you do so safely.
w If you are bedridden, you need some sort of bell or loud signal to alert your caregivers that you need assistance.
w A baby monitor could also be used for this purpose. There are many types from sound only to video and sound.
w Two-way radios could also be used.
w A purse alarm can be clipped to you to alert a caregiver when you stand up.
w Identify where the bathrooms are wherever you go.
w A list of emergency medical devices and apps can be found here.