The bathroom is the likeliest candidate for home renovation projects. Many choose to renew their bathroom designs as they find the old ones outdated. But besides the aesthetics, sometimes we have to address the needs of our changing lifestyles.
You must introduce several changes to make a bathroom more accessible to seniors. Here, we will discuss some bathroom renovation ideas that one should consider while designing an age-friendly master bathroom.
Get Rid Of The Bathtub
The bathtub has a significant footprint. But, the older you get, the less practical it becomes. Older people can’t get into and out of bathtubs as quickly as they could when they were younger. So, removing the bathtub is a sensible decision for building a pro-senior bathroom.
Should you just leave the space empty after you remove the tub? You can install curbless showers or walk-in bathtubs in that space. For more ideas of beautiful master bathrooms without bathtubs, visit this article from AC Remodeling.
Want A Tub Regardless?
If you still feel comfortable using a bathtub, here are some things you need to keep in mind. First of all, it has to be very big. It needs to have enough space to make it easier for you to get into and allow you to sit down when you feel like it.
Also, take into account the tub’s edge height, whether it will have doors or a curtain, and what you can do to make the area safer. You should also look at how you have to get in and out of the tub. Make sure the entry and exit routine is safe enough.
Many people install railings and bars because they can add stability and make stepping into and out of a step-in tub less complicated as you get older and your balance weakens. You can consider making those modifications to make the tub safer.
All showerheads don’t work in the same way. It’s essential to consider the showerhead’s angle because some are made to shoot water straight down while others shoot it diagonally. Getting a showerhead that offers a variety of spray patterns is a safe choice so that you can find the best showering position.
You might also want to get a removable shower head so you can move it around and wash it more easily. These showerheads have a hose connecting to the shower head’s default location, with the spray and adjustments on the other end. Since you can take them wherever you wish, removable showerheads will be convenient for a safe and comfortable shower.
Lift The Countertop To Ideal Height And Leave Sufficient Clearance Under The Sinks
The ideal countertop height for senior citizens ranges from 30 to 36 inches. Put the mirror in such a position that you can see yourself whether you are standing or sitting. You need to have enough space in front of the vanity so that you can move back safely.
There should also be ample clearance under the sinks. This will come in handy if you ever have to use a wheelchair. You can simply roll up to the sink and wash your hands or brush your teeth without any problem whatsoever.
Grab Bar And Rails
It’s common for older people to lose balance, so you need stable support points in the bathroom as a failsafe measure. Here’s where grab bars come in. If you slip in the showers, you can quickly grab one of these bars and prevent a severe injury.
Install the bars around the shower and the toilet. An ideal grab bar features a non-slip grip. The bases of the bars are secured with sturdy studs so that they hold on to the wall. Choose contrasting colors for the bar and the wall to make the bars more visible.
The rails can go anywhere in the bathroom. They will provide walking support and protection from slipping. Like the bars, studs secure the footing of the rails and ensure the rails will remain in place when you grab them with your entire body weight.
Over one-third of the elderly aged 65 or above suffer accidental slips and falls. 80% of those accidents occur in the washroom since the floor is usually wet and slippery. While remodeling bathrooms for seniors, slip-proofing the floors is a priority.
Small tiles with high-grip surfaces could be an excellent consideration as the flooring material for the bathroom. Alternatively, you can use tiles that come with a special anti-slip coating. Rubber floors are expensive, but injury risks are minimal if you slip and fall on a rubbered floor.
Maintain consistency, no matter what type of flooring you choose in the end. Reduce the number of areas where there is a transition between materials—these are especially prone to trip hazards.
Favorable Toilet Height
For older people with leg, hip, knee, joint, or back problems, a tall toilet height means that users have to exert less effort to get on and off the seat. So, we would advise you to choose toilets three or four inches higher than the standard height for elderly use.
No Threshold Showers
In a no-threshold shower or zero-threshold shower, the shower floor is the same level as the bathroom floor. Since there is no sill involved, there are no risks of tripping over. Not to mention, it gives the shower a trendy look.
No-threshold showers make it easier for older people to access the shower as they don’t have to lift their feet. This shower design also allows for wheelchair access, which is a huge plus. No threshold showers are also perfect for walkers and transfer chairs.
Broaden The Door
You should widen the restroom entryway to make it more accessible for people who use wheelchairs, walkers, or canes. Not all bathroom doors are big enough to fit a walker or wheelchair. So, a regular-sized door is not convenient for many elderly people.
The retirement years of our lives are often plagued with many physical limitations. But, making appropriate changes around our homes can help us overcome them to a great degree. Redesigning the master bathroom to make it age-friendly is the first step we should take to make the lives of seniors in our families more comfortable.