5 Bathroom Renovation Tips for Seniors
Aging comes with certain limitations, such as difficulty in movement, loss of balance, etc. Therefore, modifying some parts of your house, especially the bathroom, to ensure ease of movement and accessibility becomes necessary.
The primary goal of remodeling a bathroom for seniors is to provide them with a comfortable and safe environment, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries. You must focus on removing obstacles and providing enough room, helping them comfortably navigate with mobility aids such as walkers or wheelchairs.
Bathroom remodeling projects may be common in states like Connecticut. Its considerable aging population highlights the need for housing modifications to accommodate the changing needs of seniors.
If you want to age in place or make your house safer for your parents, consider the following bathroom remodeling tips.
Have a bathroom on the ground floor
While it may be easier to climb stairs when you are young and healthy, as you age, pain in your hips and knees can make it quite difficult. Therefore, if you are getting older or have older parents living with you, add a bathroom on the ground floor.
Adding a new bathroom is indeed a major renovation. However, the cost seems insignificant when you consider the potential medical expenses in case of an injury during old age—when healing is also slow.
Finding experienced remodelers is necessary when adding a new bathroom to your house. In states like Connecticut, where more than 18% of the population is 65 years and above, according to the US Census Bureau, bathroom remodeling to accommodate seniors may be more frequent. Therefore, finding experienced bathroom remodelers might be much easier due to the availability of multiple options. However, if you cannot find one, search for Connecticut bathroom remodeling company near me online. Your search engine will provide you with listings based on your current location.
Eliminate unnecessary items from the bathroom
When remodeling your bathroom for seniors, consider making it spacious by eliminating unnecessary items that might hinder movement. Seniors who use mobility aids, such as walkers and wheelchairs, can also easily use a bathroom if there is enough clearance to get around.
Before clearing the space, assess the items already placed inside the bathroom. Determine which should be kept in the bathroom based on their frequency of use and importance.
One of the ways to reduce clutter is clearing the counter-top and vanity area, making it easier for seniors to reach their required items. Also, you can use drawers and cabinets to arrange toiletries, cosmetics, and grooming stuff, keeping only the most frequently used things within their reach.
Furthermore, maximize the utilization of wall-mounted storage options. They free up valuable floor space and keep necessary items within reach.
Another option is to replace bulky and space-taking vanities with streamlined options that provide storage but don’t occupy much space.
Install raised toilets
Installing raised toilets is a major modification to make the bathroom more comfortable for seniors. This modification is particularly beneficial for seniors with joint and knee pain by reducing the strain on these body parts when sitting down and getting up.
Installing a raised toilet in a bathroom can vary based on the plumbing system in the bathroom. In some cases, it involves adding a raised toilet seat on top of the existing toilet seat, increasing its height. To enhance the comfort and convenience of seniors, these raised toilet seats have armrests, padding, or handles.
Alternatively, you can raise the height of the toilet seat by installing a specifically designed raised toilet with a higher bowl height, typically ranging from 17 to 19 inches.
Whether replacing the entire toilet or adding a raised toilet seat, make sure its design and style are compatible with the rest of your bathroom. This way, the modification will seamlessly blend with the existing decor.
Eliminate slippery surfaces
Slippery surfaces in the bathroom can be dangerous for seniors as they can increase the risk of falls, slips, and trips. There are several ways to eliminate slippery surfaces in the bathroom. If you can afford a major renovation, consider modifying or replacing the existing flooring in the bathroom. Instead of glossy and slippery tiles, you can opt for matte, slip-resistant, textured tiles or vinyl with a slip-resistant surface. This type of flooring offers better traction even if the floor is wet.
If you cannot replace the existing flooring, in that case, using appropriate coatings or treatments for existing surfaces that are prone to become slippery is another option. This modification is much more budget-friendly and can be done in less time than replacing the flooring. Non-slip coating for bathroom surfaces is available as a spray or paint-on form, creating a textured surface that improves grip.
Another way to prevent tripping in the bathroom is by removing or securing loose rugs and bathmats. These items might seem harmless but can pose a safety hazard by shifting or bunching up.
In addition to replacing or improving surfaces in the bathroom, check the bathroom’s drainage too. Ensure that the bathtub and shower have effective drainage that prevents the water from pooling on the bathroom floor.
Add a walk-in tub
Getting in and out of a traditional bathtub can be very challenging for seniors. It is also associated with major safety hazards. Installing a walk-in tub is an excellent alternative.
It allows the user to enter the tub through a swinging door instead of stepping over raised threshold of a traditional bathtub. As a result, the risk of tripping or falling when getting in and out of the tub considerably reduces.
Walk-in tubs often have a built-in seat or bench where seniors can sit while bathing. This way, seniors may not feel a strain on their knees and feel more comfortable.
The textured flooring and non-slip surfaces on the floor of the walk-in tubs also make them more suitable for seniors in the house. They provide better traction when getting in and out and changing positions.
To create a luxury bathing experience for your older parents or loved ones, you can choose walk-in tubs with therapeutic features such as hydrotherapy jets. They offer relief for muscle aches and pains, promote relaxation, and improve circulation using targeted water jets to target specific body areas, such as the back, legs, and feet.
You can renovate your bathroom in many ways, such as clearing spaces, and adding non-slip mats, grab bars, etc., to make it safer for seniors in your house. Start by trying to modify your existing bathroom; if that is not possible, add a new bathroom in the house so that seniors can live comfortably.