Remodeling bathrooms for seniors
As we age our home can become less functional and require modifications and changes to adapt to our abilities. Although making bathrooms safe for seniors is the top concern, budget and style are also very important factors to be considered when planning bathroom renovations for the elderly.
Although making bathrooms safe for seniors is the top concern, budget and style are also very important factors to be considered.
A bathroom renovation for seniors can be a very costly project, especially when you consider all of the necessary modifications to make washrooms accessible. Figuring out how the space will be used by all members of the family will allow you to put your renovation dollars where they’re needed most.
The following bathroom remodeling ideas for seniors will keep your bathroom looking great and, more importantly, safe.
Bathroom remodeling ideas that make a splash
Remodeling for accessibility
Shower Stall - A large shower stall will give your washroom a spa-like feel and will allow room for shower seats or wheelchairs to easily fit into the space.
Shower Heads - Multiple shower heads (i.e. handheld, rain head and body jets) may seem like an added luxury but when you consider the limited mobility that seniors have, you’ll see the value in splurging on them.
Linear Shower Drain - Install a linear shower drain to remove the potential tripping hazard of a shower curb and allow wheelchairs to roll in the shower stall with ease. A shower stall with a curved curtain rod increases the shower space and is a nice alternative to glass walls.
Remodeling for functionality
Shower Grab Bars - Install shower grab bars in the shower and beside the toilet. Having bathroom safety grab bars around can literally be a lifesaver for people with mobility or balance issues. Make sure you invest in safety grab bars that are sturdy, properly positioned and installed by a professional.
If you’re concerned that your spa-like washroom may look institutional, there are now safety grab bars that have a dual function built in to their design, such as a towel bar, shower shelf, toilet roll holder and shower faucet.
Non-Slip Bath Mats - Add non-slip safety bath mats to prevent slipping on wet tiles. If the person you’re caring for doesn’t need a wheelchair, install a wooden or plastic seat, or tiled bench in the shower so that he or she can conserve energy while they bathe.
Remodeling for independence & comfort
When remodeling and making bathrooms safe for seniors, remember that the little things can often help make the elderly feel more independent in the bathroom. For instance opt for faucets and door knobs that can be operated with one hand or a closed fist.
Faucets - In terms of a faucet, that means a single handle or one that’s equipped with a touch sensor.
Door Knobs & Hinges - For doors, that could mean switching out typical doorknob and hinge hardware for a lever and offset hinge, which lets the door swing open an extra couple of inches to accommodate wheelchairs.
Remove Bath Rugs - Rugs pose a problem for wheelchairs and can potentially be a tripping hazard so removing them could be in the best interest of your whole family.
In-Floor Radiant Heating - If warmth is an issue, consider installing radiant floor heating under your tiles. Nothing’s as luxurious as a heated floor under-foot as you’re stepping out of the shower!