For households that have older adults living in them, or that frequent regularly, a bathroom remodel that is designed to provide a safe environment might be a good idea. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three adults over the age of 65 falls each year. The bathroom is an exceptionally dangerous place for elderly individuals due to the fact that there are so many slippery surfaces in the bathroom. Below are some ideas of how you can make your bathroom a safe place for elderly adults.
Hand Rails and Grab Bars: hand rails and grab bars are an easy application that could potentially save a life. Grab bars are generally installed in bath tubs, showers, and around toilets, making it easier for elderly individuals to raise and lower themselves, while providing something to hang onto while reducing the risk of falling.
Modify or replace bathtub: seniors have an especially difficult time using bathtubs. This is due to the fact that they are slippery inside, and can be difficult to get in and out of due to the nature of having to step over the wall. For individuals with limited mobility, replacing your bathtub with a walk-in tub that has a door instead of a wall can make bath time safer and easier for elderly individuals. If no one in the home takes a bath, consider replacing your bathtub all together with a walk-in shower, complete with a bench seat.
ADA-Compliant faucets: some individuals might find that they struggle being able to operate a knob-style faucet. If this is the case, simply replace knob-faucets with one that has a long lever that can easily be moved and adjusted. If you purchase a fixture that is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the fixture might come equipped with other features, such as a hot water safety stop, which prevents anyone from accidently burning themselves.
Anti-Slipping features: elderly people find that slippery bathroom floors are extremely dangerous. It is important to make sure that your bathroom is equipped with non-slip mats not only on bathroom floor but in the tub or shower as well. Mats with rubber backing are best as they won’t get bunched up and trip anyone.
Raise the toilet: even with the assistance of hand rails, a toilet that sits lower to the ground can be challenging for elderly people. If your toilet sits lower, during your bathroom remodel, consider replacing it with a toilet that sits up higher, making it easier for elderly people to get up and down.
If you need help remodeling your bathroom to accommodate the elderly people in your life, call the plumbing professionals at The True-Pros today! We can help you with any of the above modifications, or any other ideas that you have to make your bathroom more accessible for those with limited mobility in your life.