As we get older, so do our homes, and they begin to lose some of their original functionality. While we’ve all heard of a senior who hits the treadmill for 4 hours before their morning coffee, there’s the majority of seniors who are limited to living on one floor of their house.
While some rooms are used more than others, one room in particular is used the most – the bathroom. Safety is a big concern for a senior in the bathroom, most of all where slips and falls can happen. So here’s our tried and true bathroom renovation guide for senior citizens to add functionality and safety.
One of the biggest helps you can do is to either renovate or build a bathroom on the ground floor. Having to climb up stairs 5-10 times a day creates a big risk for falls every single day. The bathroom itself is filled with hazards, so there shouldn’t be added jeopardy to injury just getting there.
Get a Grip
Grab bars around the bathroom are a huge help to seniors. Within the shower, grab bars can be installed underneath the water head, on the adjacent wall, and on the outside to help getting in. These grab bars can support up to 250 lbs and can be installed almost anywhere in a bathroom.
This step isn’t considered a renovation, more of a consideration of currently available space. A bathroom for a senior should be free of hampers, shelves, and accessories so there’s as much space as possible. With some seniors needing a cane, walker or wheelchair, the more space the better.
Take a Seat
A shower seat provides a big help to seniors when washing themselves. Shower chairs can be purchased for easy removal, but shower benches can be installed right into the shower or wall for added luxury and safety. The shower seat can be framed right into the wall of the bathroom, or tiled over for a seamless look.
Make the Cut
Standard bathtubs can be retrofitted with an open-step to convert them into a walk-in shower. Together with a grab bar, this renovation can ease some of the pain required for seniors to step in and out of the tub. With this type of bathtub, seniors can have easy access while not having the added stress of injuring themselves on the lip.
Raise the Toilet
Toilets themselves can be renovated to make their access for senior citizens. The special seats are higher to make getting on and off easier and adding some handles nearby will make for an even smoother transaction.
Skid Mats Everywhere
Another simple yet effective solution to help reduce bathrooms falls is to lay slip-resistant mats around the bathtub, sink and toilet. A wet tiled floor can be a huge hazard for even the most able-bodied senior, but even more-so for those with limited mobility.