If you have elderly people living in your house, or if you’re going past your prime yourself, then considering customizing your bathroom to be more accommodating to elderly residents should only be natural. Not only would these bathroom renovations make it easier for the elderly, but it would also make your bathroom safe, comfortable, and accessible to all, no matter what age.
Out of all the rooms in the house, the bathroom poses the most dangers. There are situations that could happen in your bathroom, ranging from slipping on the moist bathroom floor tiles to the worst-case scenario of finding a ghost in the bathtub with you as you relax, à la low-budget horror movie.
There are several ways in which you can danger-proof your bathroom so you don’t have to worry about anything while cleaning yourself up. Here are 5 tips to up your bathroom’s accessibility for the elderly and help prevent accidents at the same time:
- One of the most obvious dangers of the bathroom is the slick floor surface. The floor should be made less prone to slipping by adding non-skid mats or rugs. For people who use walkers, use low-pile carpeting so the walker doesn’t catch on deep pile. Also add a rubber mat to the bottom of your bathtub for extra measure.
- Another easy way to make your bathroom safer is to make sure the space is well-lit and isn’t hard to navigate for aging eyes. Good lighting will help prevent people from tripping or bumping into things.
- Bathtubs could be hard to use for people with limited mobility, and the slippery surface may cause them to trip and fall. Consider taking it out completely and replacing it with a walk-in shower if nobody in the house takes baths. Otherwise, replace your regular tub with a walk-in one that has a door on the wall, so that nobody trips while trying to get in or out.
- For added safety measures, place grab bars where someone might need extra help, including the bathtub, by the toilet or shower, or anywhere else you think someone might need extra help.
- Even with grab bars, however, it could still be hard for people who are old to use the toilet because it’s too far down. Consider replacing your regular toilet with a high-rise one or adding a seat extender. A high-rise toilet has a higher seat, making it a lot easier for people to get up and down.
Remember, safety and comfort should always be a priority. Countless bathroom incidents are reported each year, so remember that if you have the luxury of redesigning your bathroom for the elderly, take advantage of it to prevent fatal accidents that could happen in the future.