Mobility issues increase as we age. It becomes more difficult to move around, stairs become problematic, and safety issues are a high priority. Bathroom remodeling for accessibility is a viable and cost-effective solution for aging in place.
The bathroom is a great starting point for remodeling and renovation projects. It is one of the most used areas of the home. Water, combined with all hard surfaces makes this room an accident just waiting to happen. Something as simple as stepping into a tub, to bathe or shower, becomes almost impossible.
When considering options for a bathroom refresh, a walk-in shower is a popular choice. By converting a tub,(which is often seldom used) to a walk-in shower the whole dynamic of the room changes. Bathrooms in older homes frequently have no windows. The glass doors on a new shower unit become a reflective surface, adding light to the room. A fresh contemporary design instantly modernizes an older bathroom.
Older adults who use assistive devices, such as walkers, have easy access into a walk-in shower. This is especially helpful if the person requires help in bathing. Extra safety features, such as a slip resistant floor, and a shower chair or bench, are easy and affordable additions. A handheld shower head and extra-large faucet handles make the whole showering experience less daunting for an older adult.
A large walk-in shower definitely makes the bathroom more "senior friendly". However, if the home has only one full bathroom, eliminating the only tub is not always the best option when it comes to re-sale. There are buyers who need bathtubs. Before the renovation, talk to a realtor to determine the target market for the homes in your neighborhood.
Other bathroom remodeling ideas to consider for senior safety:
Having the toilet at the correct height makes a big difference when it comes to safety. If you are planning to replace the toilet as part of your renovation project, consider a toilet/bidet combo. This option can significantly improve hygiene.
Doors that open out rather than in. Falls are common among the elderly. If a person loses their footing and falls against the door, it is difficult for someone to get in to assist them. An outward swing door allows for easy access in times of emergency.
Installing a telephone line in the bathroom can literally be a lifesaver. A slip and fall accident can result in serious injuries. Having immediate access to a phone is a valuable safety feature.
Adding grab bars to the areas surrounding the toilet and tub or shower offers additional stability to older adults. These bath accessories are both fashionable and functional. Additionally, during the renovation you may want to lower light switches. This small change becomes a big help in the event the use of a wheelchair becomes necessary.
A bathroom remodel is the key to helping folks stay in their own homes as they age. Look to the experts at Joyce Factory Direct for guidance in making your existing bathroom meet the challenge of your changing physical needs. Proudly serving homeowners for six decades, we offer solutions for making your renovation project easier.