Age is just a number, people say. However, the reality is that with aging comes physical and mobility limitations. Falls are among the top threats to the health and well-being of older adults. According to the CDC, around 3 million older adults seek emergency treatment due to fall accidents.
Falls can happen anywhere, but the bathroom poses a higher fall risk. The CDC, as well as other organizations, suggests that homeowners make their bathrooms safer for elderly family members.
From grab bars to walk-in tubs for the elderly, here are eight features that your elderly-friendly bathroom should have.
1. Grab Bars and Rails
Grab bars and rails are specifically designed to aid a person in maintaining balance and make standing up and walking around the bathroom easier. If you think that towel racks can double as grab bars, think again.
Towel bars are meant for hanging lightweight materials. They are not designed to support the weight of an adult. When you grab a towel bar and use it to prop you up to the standing position, it might break and cause you to fall. So, make sure to install actual grab bars.
2. Non-Slip Flooring or Bath Mats
If you’re remodeling a bathroom to add senior-friendly features, consider changing the flooring material into a non-slip surface. Matte or stone bathroom flooring may be less slippery than ceramic tiles when wet.
You should also get non-slip bath mats. These mats are designed to stick to the floor so they won’t move when stepped on.
3. Raised Toilet Seat
The toilet should be of a comfortable height. You can replace the existing toilet with a “comfort height” one. You may also simply install a raised toilet seat attachment. Having a raised toilet seat will make it easier for your elderly family member to sit down and up from the toilet.
4. Walk-In Tub
Walk-in tubs eliminate the need to lift one’s legs to get in and out of the bathtub. As a result, the risk of falling is also reduced. This kind of tub has a door. When the door is closed, the tub becomes completely watertight. Walk-in tubs available on the market today also come with different features, such as adjustable bubble jets, non-slip surfaces, bath seating, and handrails.
5. Adjustable Showerhead
Adjustable shower heads allow users to move the showerhead to the most comfortable height and position. With this kind of showerhead, older adults can shower on their own comfortably and conveniently.
6. Bath or Shower Seat
Placing a bath or shower seat in the bathroom will also help make showering or bathing safer and more relaxing. When an elderly user can comfortably sit while bathing, they can enjoy the moment without worrying about their wobbly knees.
7. Smart and Safe Storage
The bathroom must be free of any clutter that may cause the elderly to slip and fall. Bathroom items, such as towels and toiletries, should be stored in such a way that they are easy to see and reach.
Countertops and cabinets should also have contrasting colors. The bathroom should also be free of sharp items and edges.
8. Adequate Lighting
Finally, the bathroom should be well-lit. A senior-friendly bathroom is no place for dramatic, ambient lighting. You should ensure that every nook and corner is adequately lit.
Help Your Elderly Loved Ones Maintain Independence and Hygiene With a Senior-Friendly Bathroom
By simply making a bathroom in your home senior-friendly, you can help your elderly loved ones maintain a sense of self-worth, independence, and good hygiene. Investing in these features may even help increase your home’s value!