Seniors above the age of 65 are a very large, and growing segment of the American population. Bathrooms must be remodeled to accommodate seniors aging in place. Climbing in and out of the tub can become a dangerous task. The good news is that there are many ways to make your bathroom safe and accessible. Flooring Masters is here to go over the changes made for bathroom remodeling when aging in place.
Aging in place is the best option for most seniors. It allows them to stay in a place they are comfortable with rather than being uprooted and placed in a senior facility amongst many unfamiliar people, and unfamiliar surroundings. Unfortunately, seniors sometimes live alone, and preparing for aging in place is the key to keeping those living solo safe.
Step In Shower
The first change to make is a step in shower. Climbing in and out of a high tub wall is treacherous. It causes many trips and falls for seniors. A step in shower has a small curb to contain the water, and is much safer. In addition, small tiles are used for aging in place so that there is more grout, and better traction. Some homeowners aging in place may prefer a curbless or rollin shower to accommodate a wheelchair, or so there is nothing to step over at all. We went over step in showers for seniors aging in place in more detail in this blog post.
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In addition to a step in shower, grab bars near the threshold, and within the shower will ensure that someone aging in place doesn’t lose their balance. We have all grabbed the towel rod to keep our balance in the bathroom, but these are only designed to support the weight of a towel. Anything more and they rip right out of the wall. For the safest bathroom, plenty of grab bars that can bear the weight of the person using them is a necessity. Just look for the places where someone would need help with their balance. One grab bar for getting in and out of the shower, and one within the shower will always be necessary.
Using small tile so that there is more grout in your shower floor helps with this, but more precautions may be taken to avoid slippery floors. A rubber mat in the shower and a non-slip rug are both great ideas for aging in place. However, you may opt to do away with rugs altogether to avoid the tripping hazard.
A senior in a wheelchair needs a lower vanity. ADA compliant vanities are 34” or shorter. Choose a sink basin that does not have sharp corners or edges to prevent injury.
A senior using a walker with wheels needs a floating vanity for the wheels to fit neatly under it.