When you or a person you love is getting older, the conversation about where the later years of their life are going to be spent is an important one to have. Often, senior citizens don’t want to leave their homes and would be happier and more comfortable if they could stay in the same place, but a lack of accessibility and an abundance of potential hazards in their home forces them to move elsewhere.
Having to leave behind your home because it’s no longer safe for you to live there can be a big emotional blow for anyone. Choosing to renovate an existing home to make it safer and more accessible for a senior resident is a great alternative! It allows them to stay in a familiar and comfortable setting without undue risk. The bathroom is often a place that gets a lot of focus during one of these “aging-in-place” renovations. If you’re planning a bathroom remodeling project for yourself or an older family member, these are some features that are good to include!
Getting in and out of showers and tubs and on and off of the toilet can become a challenge as we age, when stiff muscles and bad joints can make it painful or even impossible to do without help. Grab bars in key locations are crucial to make this process easier and to prevent dangerous falls!
Climbing over the wall of a tub, especially when the bathroom floor or the inner surface of a tub is wet and slippery, is a recipe for disaster in a bathroom. At best, it’s a long and uncomfortable process to get in and out of the tub, and at worst, it’s a fall and a serious injury waiting to happen. Walk-in tubs with doors that swing out and then seal tightly to keep the water in are a great way to prevent this from being a risk.
Wheelchair-Accessible Doors and Spaces
Aging and losing one’s mobility can mean eventually being confined to a wheelchair for many people, and this can make the simple acts of using the restroom or bathing very difficult. Lots of bathrooms are full of tight spaces that are difficult to navigate when you’re on your feet, let alone in a wheelchair, and if your bathroom door is too small to accommodate the chair, the entire bathroom becomes inaccessible. Widening doorways and walkways in the bathroom area to allow for better access will make a big difference in how independent you or your loved one is able to be!
Smooth or shiny tiles on the floor are a beautiful look for a bathroom. They’re also a major hazard, even if you don’t have a senior resident living in the house. Slipping and falling in the bathroom is a great way for anyone to get seriously hurt, and for older people whose balance is less steady, a slippery floor is even more dangerous. Choosing a non-slip tile, like a kind that has a raised or textured pattern to it, can help to reduce the falling risk in your bathroom.
Built-In Shower Seats
Showers are often more practical than baths for older people, but standing in the shower can range from tiring and uncomfortable to impossible depending on the individual. A shower chair is always an option, but these can be unsteady and are difficult to clean. Instead, upgrading your shower with a built-in seat or bench can be a great option! It keeps the bathroom looking seamless and visually appealing, and if the seat is big enough, it can double as storage for bottles and other toiletries.
With upgrades like these, you can renovate your bathroom to be much safer, more accessible, and more comfortable for yourself or a loved one. If you’re planning an aging-in-place bathroom renovation, Schuler Service is the place to turn for help! You can learn more about the remodeling services we offer here.