Creating a Senior-Friendly Bathroom

Bathrooms are one of the most common spots in a home that are chosen as the focus of a renovation project, and with good reason. Bathrooms are also one of the most commonly used parts of a home, and they often need to be altered as our needs change. Whether it’s a marriage, a new baby, more roommates or someone who is getting older, there are lots of times when it’s helpful to renovate your bathroom.

When it comes to making a bathroom senior-friendly, there are important changes to make. Exactly what you’ll need to do depends on who is using it – if it’s someone who recently suffered an injury or someone who is now in a wheelchair or if it’s simply anticipating the changing mobility needs of an aging person.

Making the changes that are right for the specific bathroom and user(s) you’re dealing with can be the difference between safety and hazard, comfort and discomfort.

Here are some ways (found on the Accessible Bath Solutions website) to create a bathroom for elderly users. You may not need to make all the changes in your specific bathroom, so choose what would be most helpful in your case.

  • Walk-in bathtub/shower: By eliminating or reducing any steps or ledges, you take away safety hazards and add comfort. Many walk-in tubs also have a built-in seat, a non-slip floor and safety handrails.
  • Chair-height toilet: Installing a higher toilet seat will make it easier for seniors to bend to use it. The height of these toilets makes it easier to sit down and get back up.
  • Adjust height of fixtures and appliances: As with the chair-height toilet, sometimes other parts of the bathroom need to be adjusted. Lowering or raising the height of the sink can also help make it a more comfortable reach for seniors. Find out if there are any other things the person would prefer to have adjusted this way.
  • Non-slip flooring: Whether you revamp the entire floor or just lay down non-slip bath mats, it’s important to make sure the entire bathroom floor (especially the shower/tub area) feels safe to walk on.
  • Lighting: Seniors often have issues with their vision, so installing bright, properly placed lighting to avoid shadows and dim areas, will help greatly. At the same time, consider what the person’s specific needs are. They may require softer lighting due to some sort of eye sensitivity – in that case, adjust your light fixtures accordingly, or install an easy-to-use dimmer.
  • Handrails: Adding sturdy handrails throughout the bathroom can be a great help. They should be placed particularly in areas where the person will be bending, sitting down, pulling themselves back up or where he/she might be feeling unsteady. Next to toilets and inside showers are prime locations.
  • Emergency contact: Consider installing a telephone or an alarm/alert system that they can use should they fall or need some other kind of help.

Are you planning to renovate your bathroom to make it senior-accessible? If so, domilya GROUP can help! Give us a call today for a free consultation at (647) 264-6387.