Over the past few years there has been an increase in what is called “aging in place”. This means that many people are choosing to not be placed into assisted living homes and rather are remodeling their homes for their needs. As people age it is imperative to make changes in certain areas of the house to avoid any severe accidents. Ambath wants to help give you a few ideas on how to create more mobility with senior bathroom remodeling.
Today, many families will either bring in their elderly relatives or help to create a safe space for their elderly relatives to age in place. Alterations in size and structure must be made throughout the home to help with potential impairment on vision and mobility. The most common place of falls is the bathroom for those over age 65. When going about a senior bathroom remodeling job you want to consider the difficulties an elder relative or you yourself may go through such as:
- Standing in the shower for prolonged periods of time
- Stepping into and out of a bathtub
- Sitting down to reach the toilet
- Seeing in a dimly lit bathroom
Below we have listed out a few different areas in which you can make improvements for your elderly relative in their bathroom. While some of these changes may be small they can create a largely positive impact in safety and comfort.
Bathtub and Shower
Getting in and out of the shower or bathtub can be difficult for anyone of any age. Seniors may not be able to easily lift their legs, and if they can, doing so may lead to a serious injury. One of the best ways to prevent any falling is by installing a curbless shower or a bathtub with a small door. When installing a curbless shower you should also consider placing a seat within the shower. This can help those who have difficulty standing in the shower for long periods of time, or even those who will be moving from a wheelchair into the shower.
Another option instead of a curbless shower is installing a bathtub with a door to create a walk-in tub. This makes it much easier to avoid lifting a leg and a potential fall over the wall of the tub. It’s also beneficial to place a seat within this style tub as well to prevent any falling and create ease of bathing.
One of the most important items to place within a bathroom are grab bars. This is an item that makes the bathroom much more elderly friendly in the bathtub, shower, and near the toilet. It can be difficult for seniors to sit and stand constantly, and having grab bars will allow them to be able to gently sit down and push themselves up much easier.
The toilet is also another important area in which senior bathroom remodeling is necessary. When you are remodeling the bathroom it is smart to raise the toilet seat and add the grab bars that we mentioned above. For an elderly relative who struggles to sit down and stand up a regular sized toilet can prove to be difficult. To avoid any dangers using the toilet it can be beneficial to raise it as little as 3-5 inches.
Almost everyone has had a slipping moment in the shower or bathtub where they catch themselves before falling onto the ground. This can be extremely dangerous for a senior as reflexes may not be the fastest and catching themselves can lead to injuries. You want to be sure you pay close attention to the flooring in the bathtub and shower. Flooring options include a rubber no-slip floor in the shower, a no-slip mat, or even no-slip paint. No matter which option you choose you want to be sure to test its sturdiness before allowing your elderly relative, or before you yourself as a senior, step onto the slippery surface.
Lighting can often be overlooked during a senior bathroom remodel. Remember that as people age vision starts to age as well, meaning standard bathroom lighting may not be enough. Having extra lighting is always better than not having enough, especially in the evening. It can be smart to place lights underneath the sink or toilet as night lights. Incase someone needs to use the bathroom in the middle of the night this can help prevent any falls while searching for the light switch.
The bathroom can be one of the most dangerous places for seniors. It is imperative to prepare for the worst and create a senior friendly bathroom for yourself or your loved ones. Convenience is placed on families and seniors when they decide to age in place, but it is also important to make the rest of the house convenient for aging. To make your life easier contact American Bathroom Remodeling for all of your senior bathroom remodeling needs. We provide a wide range of options for showers and bathtubs. At Ambath we strive to make your life a little easier.