9 Bathroom Renovations for Seniors

As more older adults choose to age in place, more homes need to be renovated to keep seniors safe. Aging in place allows seniors to remain independent and comfortable in a familiar place. Yet, falls and injuries are real risks when our loved ones age. Home remodelling is a crucial step to enabling their independence.

Because the bathroom is one of the most used rooms in a home, and most slips and falls occur in the bath area, bathroom renovations are often the top priority in a remodel.

Make the following renovations to ensure your loved one’s bathroom is safe and accessible.

1. Walk-in Bathtub

After a long day, soaking stiff joints in a tub might be just what the doctor called for. Yet, when a bathtub has high sides, this can be nearly impossible for older adults.

When mobility is challenging, a walk in tub for seniors is an important feature to install in a remodel. A walk-in bathtub has a door that makes stepping in and out of the tub safe and easy. Just open the door and walk in. No more stepping over the side of the tub, which can become difficult with stiff joints and balance issues.

Walk-in tubs also have built-in seating and handrails, so your loved one can bathe without having to lie down and worry about how they’ll get back up again. Most also have a hand-held sprayer for convenient bathing as they sit on the built-in bench. Some walk-in tubs even feature relaxing jets for the bath lovers out there. No one should have to live without the comfort and relaxation of a bath or struggle to get clean.

2. Roll-in Shower

If your loved one has mobility challenges and uses a wheelchair or walker, a walk-in/roll-in shower may be the best option. Unlike traditional showers, roll-in showers do not have a raised threshold or shower door. As a result, residents can simply walk or roll in without a barrier limiting their access. With a standard 60-inch wide entry, a roll-in shower offers much-needed accessibility for wheelchair users.

3. Shower Seat

If you are remodelling to add a walk-in shower, consider adding a shower seat. When dizziness and balance are issues, your loved ones will benefit from having a place to sit if they get lightheaded or feel at risk of falling.

Shower seats also take pressure off sore feet and joints, ensuring older adults are safe and comfortable while bathing.

Shower seats can either be installed away from the shower head in a dry area or directly under the shower head for accessibility of the shower controls while seated.

4. Handheld Shower Head

An older adult with mobility issues may have difficulty standing under a shower head for the entire shower length. If you’re installing a shower seat, replacing your shower head with a handheld version is an excellent idea. This will give your loved one added flexibility and convenience to clean themselves while bathing.

5. Bathroom Grab Bars

Adding strategically placed handrails or grab bars in the bathroom can give you confidence that your loved one will be safe in the washroom alone. These grab bars should be conveniently placed to support them on and off the toilet and in and out of the bathtub or shower. You may also want to add some handrails along the wall. Bathroom grab bars help balance walking, sitting, and standing up.

The stability that grabs bars can prevent slip-and-fall accidents. They come in various styles and colours, so your senior-friendly bathroom can still be aesthetically pleasing and stylish. You can often install grab bars that blend seamlessly with your bathroom decor, making them hardly noticeable.

6. Raised Toilet Seat

Getting on and off the toilet becomes more difficult as we age. A raised toilet seat will make it easier for your loved one to retain their bathroom independence by making it easier for them to get up and sit down on their own.

Install a grab bar near the raised toilet seat for stability and support.

7. Skid Mats

Avoid preventable slips and falls in the bathroom by adding skid mats inside the bathtub, shower, and surrounding areas. Floors outside the tub can also get wet and pose a hazard when a senior gets out.

8. Accessible Bathroom Cabinets

Accessible bathroom cabinets are installed lower than typical cabinet height. They offer strategically placed storage spaces to remove unnecessary body movements, such as bending and stretching. Accessible cabinets typically include pull-out and pull-down shelves and easy-to-grip handles.

Accessible bathroom cabinets at a comfortable height are important in promoting independence in daily tasks.

9. Lighting

Many older adults have difficulty with sight. Add additional lighting to keep your loved one safe if the bathroom is dark. It’s a great way to add more visibility so seniors can spot hazards like a wet floor or a tripping hazard. Add lights near the shower/tub, toilet, and sink.

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