Seniors who are confident, competent, and independent choose to age in place. And when they do, one of the steps toward safely aging in place is a bathroom remodel for seniors. 80% of falls happen in the bathroom, but many homeowners resist the changes that are necessary to safely age in place. A homeowner may think that it’s not worth the time, they don’t want to use their savings, and there are many reasons to resist change. And that’s what it really is. Change is uncomfortable. However, we have to be realistic about what our bodies are capable of as we age. If you’re looking to do a bathroom remodel for seniors, we have some suggestions for safety that will still look gorgeous when it’s complete.

Accessible bathroom with walk-in tub

Shower – Roll In Shower

A shower with no wall or curb to step over makes a world of difference for someone aging in place. It avoids a lot of unnecessary danger of falling. Combine that with a mosaic tile floor so that the abundance of grout lines provides plenty of traction, and you’ve got a functional and beautiful shower that’s also safe. We always include some strategically placed grab bars, and easy access to a towel to dry off afterward.

We cut into the joist to create the correct slope so that all of the water runs down the drain and not the bathroom floor. In addition, we waterproof the entire bathroom, and are Schluter System Certified, to avoid moisture damage and the potential for mold. It is vital that an experienced contractor builds a curbless shower or roll in shower to make sure that the floor support stays safe, and no water damage comes later.

Walk In Tub

Getting in and out of a bathtub is tricky for everyone. There’s water, it’s slippery, and we have to step high up over the side of the tub. This slippery high step can be dangerous for seniors. A walk in tub solves this problem. It has a waterproof door to easily step into the tub. This adds a lot of depth to the tub. They can be as deep as 4 feet. This allows a homeowner who is aging in place to sit upright in the bath, but still soak their entire body.

Walk in tubs have dozens of features available such as an anti scald feature, quick filling and quick draining, and most come equipped with a mobile shower head to rinse off with when you’re done. It is very important to do a lot of research when choosing the right walk in tub for your individual needs.

First Floor Bathroom for Seniors

The first step for a bathroom remodel for seniors is often to build or expand a bathroom on the first floor of a two story or bi-level home. Those with limited mobility need to avoid the stairs, and the nasty falls that can come from climbing up and down them. We often expand first floor half bathrooms and powder rooms into full bathrooms for seniors aging in place. Building or expanding a first floor bathroom often requires some downsizing too.


A Bathroom Remodel For Seniors Needs a Lot of Light

Whenever we remodel a bathroom for aging in place, we suggest that light be an integral part of the design. Multiple, bright light sources with switches that are near doorways and easy to access make life a lot easier for seniors. In addition, ambient lighting for using the bathroom at night keeps things much safer for seniors. Fixtures should all have at least two bulbs so that if one fails, the other still lights the room. Long life LED bulbs are preferred for this same reason.

Slip and Fall Prevention

Walk in tubs are often equipped with a slip resistant floor. Roll in showers AKA curbless showers are preferred with a mosaic tile floor to prevent falls. However, and anti-slip mat is always a good idea in any tub or shower that someone aging in place will use. In addition to traction on the floor, a bench seat in the shower adds even more safety for seniors.

A Bathroom Remodel For Seniors Needs Grab Bars

Strategically placed grab bars in a walk in tub or curbless shower are a must. Other rails and handholds throughout the house make everything safer for a senior aging in place. Grab bars near the toilet ensure safety when sitting down and getting back up. A raised toilet seat makes this even safer.

Wheelchair Accessible

Seniors aging in place often need to accommodate wheelchairs. As part of a bathroom remodel for seniors in wheelchairs, we widen the bathroom door frame to accommodate a wheelchair, and build a roll in shower with a removable shower head and low recessed shelves to access toiletries. We also lower the vanity counter and bathroom sink to accommodate them. There are special vanities and other bathroom storage with multiple easy access drawers so that seniors in wheelchairs can grab what they need easily in the bathroom.

Higher Counters

Seniors who are not in wheelchairs, and especially, taller seniors, may need a higher bathroom counter, vanity, and sink to avoid stooping. We help homeowners design every bathroom around their individual needs.

Regular Maintenance

It is very important to check grab bars and tighten them periodically. In addition, the door seals in walk in tubs don’t last forever. It is important to replace them before leaks become a problem because that can result in moisture damage and mold in the bathroom. All aging in place features should be examined every few months to ensure their safety.

Certified Aging In Place Specialists

The team here at Flooring Masters is your local aging in place specialists. We are certified with the NAHB to help seniors create the safest bathroom possible and are happy to work with you to help you design it to meet your specific needs.

Free Government Grants For Senior Bathroom Remodeling

If you are planning for aging in place, but having trouble finding the budget for your bathroom remodel, there are government grants available to those who are eligible. Click here for more information.

Ready to design your bathroom remodel or have more questions? Please Call or Email us here at Flooring Masters for a free consultation.

About The Author

John Raisor is a well traveled carpentry and food writer.


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