Simple Renovations That Make the Home Bathroom More Senior-Friendly
Courtesy of Anita Ginsberg
If you are caring for an aging person in your home, you may want to renovate the bathroom to make it more comfortable and safe for them to use. Here are some essential adjustments that will make your bathroom easier to navigate for those with mobility issues or physical limitations.
Handrails are a good addition for anyone using the bathroom who may be at risk for falling or losing their balance. You can install handrails in the shower, beside the toilet, or around the walls of the bathroom if desired. The railings should be easy to grasp and facilitate a firm grip for someone who might be weak or fragile.
Remove Tripping Hazards
Any type of floor or wall elements that could pose a tripping hazard should be removed. This might include a floor vent or a wall vent with an opener clasp that could catch on someone’s pant leg or nightgown. Bath mats could cause someone to trip, so you may want to remove them until they are needed when someone steps out of the shower. Waste baskets, door stops, and stacks of reading material should be moved to prevent someone from tripping over them.
Switch From a Bathtub to a Shower
Many elderly people prefer to bathe in a shower rather than stepping into or out of a bathtub. A shower with a seat and a handrail can be very safe for seniors who need help maintaining their balance while bathing. A tub to shower conversion could help your older family member feel safer when bathing for personal cleanliness. A shower should be big enough to accommodate a family member and a healthcare assistant if one is needed to help the older person get cleaned up.
Adjust the Toilet
Installing a toilet with a higher seat level may be preferable for someone who is prone to dizzy spells or who has trouble with mobility. It will be easier to get seated and stand up with a taller toilet size. You can also install a handrail to help someone use the toilet safely without falling.
The bathroom sink and countertop can be lowered for someone who uses a wheelchair most of the time. The space under the sink should be open to allow space for their legs and chair as they wash their hands or brush their teeth. A hand towel rack can also be adjusted to a more reachable level for a wheelchair user.
Simple but important changes like these can enable someone who is getting older or dealing with health issues to use the bathroom conveniently and safely. Look into these renovations to protect your elderly loved one.
Bio: Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.Tags: Bathroom Safety