When you are a senior or live with one, safety should always come first. Unfortunately, too many seniors in America suffer accidents in their homes, and most of them happen in the bathroom. So, as a precautionary measure, you can make your bathroom more senior-friendly and avoid unwanted accidents. But where do you start? And what should you change? Don't be concerned. This article discusses the main bathroom renovations needed for a home with elderly residents. You will learn what modifications you need to make to ensure your safety or the safety of your loved ones.
2. Give the bathroom enough space
Besides being able to enter the bathroom, a senior needs to be able to walk and turn around it as needed. As a result, you need to declutter, widen, and use the space efficiently. First, take out all the items that can be harmful, like rugs, glasses, and small objects that may fall off of shelves. Continue with larger pieces such as laundry baskets and even cabinets that can be in the way. You can store all these items in a storage unit until you finish reorganizing the bathroom and find them a new place. Only leave objects that are required and are not dangerous to the elderly.
3. Install non-slip floors
Slippery floors are the leading cause of bathroom falls. And if younger adults can have problems maintaining equilibrium in a slippery bath, imagine how it is for a senior. As a direct consequence, after making the bathroom accessible, you must also make it safe. One of the first things you should do is replace the flooring with a non-slippery material. Slip-resistant vinyl is a popular choice. It is less expensive and comes in a variety of designs. Furthermore, it is simple to clean and maintain, and it is softer than tiles in the event of a fall.
Rubber is another fantastic material for non-slippery and safe flooring, although it is more expensive. It’s also moisture resistant and can cushion a fall much better than any other material. However, the variations are limited, and as we mentioned, it’s much more expensive than other options.
4. Change the bathtub
Another big problem in a bathroom that needs to be used by seniors can be the bathtub. Getting in and out of a conventional bathtub or a raised bathtub might be difficult. Therefore, you can swap the classic bathtub for a walk-in one. There are many different models that you can choose from, and there are professionals that can help you install them. You can also have one custom-made to your specifications. If you want something even safer for the elderly to use, our following suggestion could be even more to your preference.
5. Install a walk-in shower
If a walk-in bath doesn't seem safe or easy enough to use, you have the option of installing a walk-in shower. Senior walk-in showers are specifically designed for their requirements and allow adjustments. For instance, you can install a shower with a detachable sprayer head that allows sitting while bathing. You can also install a beveled threshold and enable entering the walk-in shower with a walker or wheelchair. In addition, you can have handrails, grab bars, or even a bench. Also, you can have shelves installed in and out of the shower where the seniors can leave the senior-friendly devices that they need or use frequently.
6. Make the bathroom bright enough
Seniors using the bathroom need more light than at their younger age. As a result, overhead lighting is not enough in a restroom. It doesn't cover all the corners and spaces, and it can cast shadows that make it hard to see. Therefore, you should install more light fixtures that can supplement the light in the room. The first locations to provide extra light should be around the mirror, the toilet, and the shower. Furthermore, if there is a window in the bathroom, don't cover it with thick blinds or curtains. Use something light that allows natural light to come in and fill the room.