Bathroom Designs for Elderly Adults
Going to the bathroom should never be a chore. But for elderly adults, it can often pose a safety hazard. Luckily, there are steps you can take to create a safe bathroom for your elderly loved one. In this post, we will review what you need to know about bathroom designs for the elderly and take a look at bathroom remodeling ideas for seniors.
Problems with Bathrooms for Seniors
A remodeled bathroom for seniors will address the following concerns:
Moisture that causes surfaces to become slippery when wet
Climbing or reaching for items
Room to maneuver with a cane, walker, or wheelchair
Now that we know more about what we need to fix, let’s take a closer look at bathroom renovations for the elderly.
Essential Bathroom Improvements for Seniors
When it comes to bathroom remodel ideas for the elderly, it can be overwhelming to think about all of the things you may need. Rather than thinking about the big picture, it’s best to only think about one section of the bathroom at a time. Senior-friendly bathroom designs should include all of the following:
General Accessibility- You don’t want your loved one to walk upstairs for every bathroom visit. Step one in your bathroom remodel for the elderly should be to ensure you have at least one bathroom on the first floor or install a chair lift for easier access to the second floor. Furthermore, ensure the bathroom is well lit and has enough room to move a walker or wheelchair.
Entryways- If a bathroom door doesn’t unlock from the outside or if it opens into the bathroom, it can create some hassles for seniors. Install pocket doors or widened doors to capitalize on space. It’s ideal to widen doorways to about 36 inches so there is plenty of room to navigate with a walker or wheelchair.
Floors- For your loved one, adding non-slip bath mats and rugs can prevent slips and falls. Additionally, you can add thick rugs for cushioning knees if you or a caregiver have to bathe your elderly loved one.
Showers/Baths- A walk-in tub, a built-in shower seat, a curbless shower, or glass shower doors will make bathing much easier for a senior. You may also want to install grab bars to make entry and exit even simpler.
Toilets- If your loved one struggles with sitting and standing up, sitting on a toilet can be challenging. Consider installing a higher toilet or toilet seat extensions to ensure they can sit down easily. Grab bars around the toilet can also ensure ease of access.
Sinks- Ensure the sink is easily within grasp for your loved one by lowering the counter height or having the sink attached to the wall. Installing lever- or foot-operated faucets can also be helpful for seniors with arthritis.