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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Tips for Organizing Your Bathroom

The bathroom—with its tile and slippery surfaces—can be a problem for someone with even a slight degree of vision loss. The following are simple, easy-to-manage accommodations to minimize the possibility of accidents.

  • Make sure that any rug in the bath area is nonskid.

  • Keep frequently used items in the same place at all times. Label them. Whenever possible, use plastic rather than glass containers.

  • Buy towels, washcloths, and bath mats that contrast sharply with the tub and tiles.

  • Use soaps and shampoos in pump dispensers to prevent spillage.

  • Put a nonskid mat, friction tape, or patterned appliqués on the bottom of the tub or the floor of the shower. Choose colors that contrast with the surface.

  • Hang a shower caddy in the shower to hold soap and shampoo.

  • Have a grab bar installed on the edge of the tub or a railing on the wall of the shower to prevent slipping when getting in and out.

  • Have additional lighting installed over the tub and shower.

  • Replace a white toilet seat with a darker, contrasting seat. If necessary, put a frame with arms over the seat to make sitting down and getting up easier.

  • Learn how far you have to rotate faucets to get the temperature you want. Turn on the cold water first, then add the hot. Turn off the hot water first. In the shower, use a hand-held showerhead so you can test the water temperature on your hand.

  • To check the water level in the tub, sit on the edge of the tub, or kneel or squat beside it and lower your hand to the surface of the water. If your vision permits, put a contrasting strip of tape at the desired level and fill the tub to that level.

  • To get the right amount of toothpaste on your brush, use a dark color or striped toothpaste. Hold the bristles of the brush between your thumb and forefinger. That way you can judge the amount as you squeeze it from the tube.

  • File your nails rather than using scissors or a clipper. If you have diabetes, be certain that only a medical professional cuts your toenails.

  • Shave with an electric razor rather than a regular one to avoid nicks and cuts.

By making your bathroom safer and more conveniently organized, you can minimize the possibility of falling and take care of personal hygiene more efficiently.

Learn more in Prescriptions for Independence, by Nora Griffin-Shirley, Ph.D., and Gerda Groff.

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