According to United States Census data, by 2030, approximately 20% of the population in this country will consist of people who are 65 years old or older. For the many who want to stay in their own houses as they age, bathroom remodeling is a major consideration. Bathrooms without accommodations geared toward the elderly are unsafe for seniors with physical challenges, as they may not be able to access or use conventional toilets, faucets, showers, and bathtubs.
The following tips can help you create a safer space for yourself or a loved one. Bathroom remodeling contractors can help you put these accommodations in place, all while retaining the room's original style and the owner's preferences.
Tip 1: Put in Lever Faucets
If you install lever faucets, seniors won't need to fumble with knobs that may be difficult to turn. A wide variety of styles are available, including faucets that operate with a lever seniors can step on to turn the flow of water on and off. You should consult bathroom remodeling contractors or a plumbing service before you try to put in a faucet on your own.
Tip 2: Place a Sprayer Attachment in the Shower
A detachable showerhead can be held in the hand, making it easier for seniors to direct the flow of water. In order to take showers, seniors won't need to stand, which can become an issue as they age. Sitting while showering allows seniors to bathe themselves, which is a huge plus for those who understandably resist the idea of being bathed by a family member or home attendant.
Tip 3: Use Grab Bars and Rails
This is one of the least expensive accommodations you can make in remodeling a bathroom for seniors. An elderly person can better use the shower, bathtub, and toilet if grab bars and rails are present, and these items make it easier for a caregiver to help. You might want to have bathroom remodeling contractors install grab bars and rails for extra peace of mind.
Tip 4: Raise the Toilet
A few inches in a toilet's height can make it much easier for seniors to use. You can put in a thick seat on your current toilet or hire bathroom remodeling contractors to replace your toilet with a higher one.
Tip 5: Use Nonslip Bathmats and Rugs
Conventional bathmats and rugs put seniors at risk for dangerous falls in the bathroom. Nonslip rugs outside the shower stay in place and help prevent falls. A nonslip mat in the shower similarly prevents falls.
Tip 6: Put in a Curbless Shower or Walk-In Bathtub
Some elderly people are unable to lift their legs and therefore cannot step into a conventional bathtub. A walk-in bathtub gives seniors safe access and also provides a seat for those who cannot stand for long periods. Seniors who use wheelchairs can be more easily shifted to the seat in a curbless shower, making things easier for the caregiver as well. You may want to have a curbless shower or walk-in bathtub installed by professionals. You can choose between a pre-fabricated unit and a new unit that has been created especially for use by seniors.
Many people want to stay in their own homes as they grow older, rather than move to an assisted living facility, but safety in the bathroom is a major concern. Fortunately, there are many accommodations that make bathrooms safer and more accessible for seniors. Contact a bathroom remodeling contractor today to discuss the accommodations needed for you or your loved one.