How to Remodel a Senior-Friendly Bathroom
As people get older, their mobility becomes limited due to physical changes. For this reason, they become more prone to accidents. It is why adding safety features is crucial to reduce the possibility of accidents that can cause severe injuries. Below are some ways to improve bathroom safety for your senior loved one.
Make an eye over the dimensions
Dimensions may sound too technical, but these details make or break the project. The minimum width of a bathroom door for seniors on wheelchairs is at least 34 inches. The interior of the bathroom should be wide enough (a five-foot radius minimum) for the elder to easily turn around. It is also important to place at least 27 inches of clearance under the sink for the wheelchair. Mirrors should be hung low enough so the seniors do not have to stand to check their appearance.
Try a walk-in shower
Walk-in tubs and showers are designed without frames or over-edges, making them the best option for the elderly who can’t climb over the edge. They minimise the risk of tumbling over. It would also be great to consider shower enclosures. They are incredibly cost-effective and helpful for someone with limited mobility. Plus, if you have the skills, you can install them.
Get a shower chair
Bathroom chairs for the elderly are waterproof, stable, and sturdy for a comfortable, safe shower. These transfer benches are designed to help them get in and out of the shower in a convenient way. They also help maintain balance while bathing, preventing the senior from slipping or falling.
Build a handicap-accessible toilet
Seniors often have difficulty sitting and standing, so building taller toilets is necessary to make it easier for them. The Americans with Disabilities Act sets the recommended toilet height for handicaps to be approximately 17-19 inches from the floor to the rim. Grab bars next to the toilet seat are also good additions so the users can support themselves when sitting down or standing up.
Keep it minimal
A simple bathroom design with minimal items is best for seniors. This way, there isn’t a lot of stuff getting in their way. One way to achieve this is by putting up frameless shower enclosures made of glass enclosures that blend well with the bathroom’s walls. Provide hooks and hangers that are sturdy enough to keep towels and bathrobes.
Do not place unnecessary items and furniture in the bathroom, just essential ones.
Grab bars are a must
Install grab bars around the bathroom, shower walls, and next to the toilet. They will offer your loved one a handle to hang onto if they feel tired or dizzy or when they have difficulty sitting down or standing up. These bars will significantly improve their stability inside the bathroom.
Add an emergency button
Seniors will have trouble calling for help when something goes wrong inside the bathroom. An emergency call button is a solution to that. Pressing it will alarm the caregiver that the senior needs assistance.
Providing a toilet accessible for seniors and those with disabilities requires a lot of consideration. Ultimately, the comfort and safety our elderly enjoy are worth all the details we look into when remodelling their bathroom.