As we grow older, the risk of experiencing a fall at home increases.
One-quarter of U.S. adults 65 and older fall each year, and the bathroom is an area of particular concern. One study found that falls in the bathroom were more likely to result in injuries than falls in the living room.
If you’re planning to continue living in the same home as you age, an aging-in-place bathroom remodel is a great way to reduce your risk while getting the style and comfort you want.
Here are some things to think about for a successful bathroom renovation.
Location & Size
For starters, your bathroom should be easily accessible. That means at least one full bathroom on the main level of your home.
You can achieve this by adding a new bathroom or expanding a half bath to include a shower and/or tub.
Make sure your main-level bathroom has plenty of clear floor space, especially near the toilet, tub, shower, sink and cabinets. Allow enough room for wheelchairs and other mobility aids, and for caregivers to assist those needing help with personal care activities.
Don’t worry about grab bars making your home look like a hospital. You can find a wide variety of designs to match almost any bathroom decor and help you keep your balance!
- Install grab bars near showers, tubs and toilets.
- Some can double as shelving, towel racks or toilet paper holders.
- Most can support up to 300 pounds.
- Your remodeler will install bracing inside the walls for support.
Tubs and Showers
You can enjoy a more relaxing bath with these tub or shower renovations.
- A roll-in shower or walk-in tub makes it much easier to get in and out. The shower entry should be at least 36” wide to allow room for wheelchair users.
- Adjustable and handheld showerheads let you move the water flow to the most comfortable height and position.
- If you have difficulty standing for too long, invest in shower seating for greater comfort. Options include built-in benches and retractable seats.
- Anti-slip flooring helps you keep your footing in the tub or shower.
- Position faucet controls so they can be easily reached from inside or outside the tub or shower.
- Lever-style faucet handles are easier for individuals with arthritis and others with limited hand function.
- Make it easy to reach soap, shampoo and towels with built-in shelving close by.
- Avoid scalding with temperature-controlled faucets.
Whether it’s for brushing your teeth or washing your hands, make sure your sink is designed so anyone can use it.
- Sink height should be easy to reach either seated or standing. Another option is to install multiple sinks at varying heights.
- A wall-mounted sink is more accessible for wheelchair users. Include pipe-covering to protect legs from hot pipes.
- Select an easy-to-use faucet design. Touchless faucets, lever-style handles and pedal-controlled faucets are all good options.
- Boost safety with water pressure control and anti-scald protection.
There are many features available that will make toilets much easier to use.
- Higher or adjustable seats
- Toilet paper holders that allow one-handed use
- Toilet paper holders within easy reach
- Toilet-bidet combinations to make hygiene and cleaning easier
Cabinets & Countertops
Like all homeowners, you need plenty of storage space for organizing personal care items, medications, towels, linens and other supplies.
- Consider roll-under access or adjustable height for at least part of your countertop space.
- Install a medicine cabinet that can be reached while sitting down.
- Tilting mirrors make it easier to fix hair or apply cosmetics from any angle.
- Contrasting colors make things easier for those with limited vision. Consider a dark countertop edge paired with a lighter surface.
- Rounded edges are safer and less likely to cause injury if someone slips and falls on them.
Non-slip flooring is essential for everyone’s safety in the bathroom.
- Look for anti-skid vinyl and similar materials.
- Apply non-slip paints or sealers to increase traction.
- Install anti-skid flooring in tubs and showers.
- If you use bath mats, look for low-pile options with slip-resistant backing. Secure them with high-quality rug tape.
Your bathroom lighting design can make things much safer when using the restroom at night, especially for residents with limited vision.
- Overhead lights are harder to reach when a light bulb burns out, so install a few light fixtures that are a little easier to get to.
- Motion-sensing light switches are another great option for those with limited hand function or who have trouble reaching the switch. As an added bonus, they also turn off when the bathroom is unoccupied, saving you money on energy bills.
If you’re looking for ideas for your aging in place bathroom remodel, call Elite Renovations & Design at 417-708-8393 or contact us online for a free quote.
Our experienced contractors will make sure you get the results you need to live safely and comfortably in your home for years to come!