When you live with the elderly at home, you need to know the specific needs regarding their bathroom safety. This requirement is nothing new. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there’s a higher rate of nonfatal bathroom falls for persons aged 51 and above. The CDC also reports that the rate of bathroom accidents increases with age.
The elderly are more prone to bathroom accidents due to mobility or balance issues. That’s why you need to perform bathroom renovations to make it a safe place for them when using the bathroom.
Here are some bathroom renovation tips that’ll make your home’s bathroom senior-friendly:
Accessible Showerheads and Faucets
Not all seniors can stand under the showerhead for a long time. Some seniors have limited mobility due to arthritis or bone problems. First, your bathroom showerheads must be detachable so that seniors can use them as a hand shower while sitting down. Moreover, the height of the showerhead’s base must be reachable for the senior as well.
Aside from showerheads, faucets must be replaced as well. As much as possible, seniors must exert little effort in using faucets. It means that the faucet should easily slide upwards or sidewards with minimal force. However, some seniors have limited hand and arm mobility, and faucets can be challenging if it’s hard to open.
Slip Resistant Tiles and Bathroom Mats
Bathroom slips and falls can be fatal and nonfatal. Though nonfatal, it can still cause injury, which could limit the movement of seniors. In choosing anti-slip tiles, you can ask bathroom renovation experts that help you select tile designs and materials. However, a non-slip tile usually has a rugged texture which prevents traction even when wet.
Unfortunately, tile replacements can be costly. As an alternative, you can choose rubber bathroom mats instead of tiles. The only con about bathroom mats is that they can harbor gunk and grime over time. In addition, you must scrub it at least twice or thrice a month. However, it’s still a good alternative if you can’t afford tile replacements.
Wheelchair and Walker Accessibility
One of the most important bathroom renovation projects is to make it accessible for wheelchairs and walkers. It means that the doorway must be big enough for a wheelchair, and the bathroom must be wide so that the wheelchair can move freely. In this renovation, you have to think that the bathroom area must accommodate two persons and a wheelchair or a walker.
A tight bathroom is accident-prone, especially if the senior requires assistance when bathing or using the toilet. As much as possible, there must be adequate space. And more importantly, there must be no obstructions along the way like floor mats.
Another culprit for bathroom accidents is the lack of lighting. It is a given that seniors don’t have excellent eyesight. Poor lighting makes it hard for them to focus and access bathroom amenities. When redesigning the bathroom lighting, it’s best to stick to one shade. As much as possible, yellowish light is pleasing and relaxing to the eye.
Blue light is not advisable in bathrooms because it’s harsh to the eyes. However, a mix of blue and yellow can yield a nice ambiance. Moreover, use white tiles so that they’ll reflect the light. As a result, you don’t have to install multiple bulbs, and you can save on electricity costs.
Grab Bars in the Shower Area and Toilet
Grab bars are essential because it supports seniors when getting in and out of the tub, shower area, or toilet. Ideally, the grab bars must be positioned at the right angle for enhanced accessibility, and they must be slip-resistant as well. These bars must give a firm grip even when wet.