Many seniors are opting to stay in their homes for the long term instead of moving to assisted living facilities. If you’re planning to do the same, being proactive is one of the best things you can do. Even if you’re still mobile now, the key to aging safely in your home is to make updates to anticipate your future needs. Since the bathroom is one of the most dangerous rooms for seniors, we recommend starting with a bathroom remodel.
Below, you’ll learn more about the most important updates to make in your bathroom. If you have any questions as you prepare your home for aging in place, please don’t hesitate to call us at 704-714-5744 or contact us online.
Install a Low-Threshold Walk-In Shower
The biggest risk of injury in the bathroom is from tripping and falling. If you have a tub and shower combo, eventually it may be difficult for you to step over the high wall of the tub. To help eliminate the risk of tripping, consider installing a walk-in shower in your bathroom.
We have low-threshold options that make it easy to step inside, even as your mobility changes. We can also install wheelchair-accessible walk-in showers that are flush with the floor.
Install a Built-In Seated Shower
Another option is to install a built-in seated shower, which has a comfortable seat that is repositionable and removable. This option allows you to sit down to bathe, as needed, so you can maintain your independence even as your mobility changes.
To make your shower even more accessible, we can include built-in shower caddies and shelves that are easy to reach when using the shower seat.
Add Grab Bars to Your Bathing Area
The slippery floor of a tub or shower area can make it hard for seniors to keep their balance while bathing. An easy and safe solution is to install sturdy grab bars on the walls of your tub or shower.
When installed properly, these grab bars can support several hundred pounds, so you’ll have peace of mind that they will stay secure even if you put your full weight on them.
Update Your Entryway to Be Wheelchair Accessible
Even if you don’t need a wheelchair yet, it’s a good idea to plan ahead, just in case. We recommend updating the door to your bathroom so that it’s wheelchair accessible should your mobility change in the future.
As a good rule of thumb, your doorway should be a minimum of 32 inches wide to accommodate most wheelchairs.
Install a Handheld Shower Head
When updating your shower, it’s a good idea to install a handheld shower head, which can make it easier for you to bathe with limited mobility. Handheld shower heads pair especially well with a built-in seated shower, as you can sit comfortably and hold the spray where needed.
We install shower heads in a variety of finishes, so you can choose an option that complements the rest of your shower design.
Install an ADA-Compliant Toilet
Traditional toilets can be hard to use for many seniors, so consider installing an ADA-compliant toilet that doesn’t sit as low to the ground. For maximum comfort and safety, look for a model that has a height of 17-18 inches and a width of 60 inches.
You can also add grab bars near the toilet for extra stability.
Update the Lighting
As you get older and your vision isn’t as clear as it used to be, moving around the bathroom can become more dangerous. We recommend replacing your current light bulbs with LED options, which are brighter than traditional incandescent bulbs.
You can also install additional lighting or motion sensor options to provide more visibility when using the bathroom.
Use Slip-Resistant Flooring
To help keep you safe while you bathe, choose slip-resistant flooring in your bathtub or shower area. This will help keep you upright, even when your bathing area is slick from water and soap. You should also install anti-slip floor mats outside of your tub or shower so you don’t fall when climbing out.
Aging Safely in Your Home Is Easy With Carolina Home Remodeling
Now that you know more about aging safely in your home and the most impactful updates to make, don’t wait any longer to schedule your remodel! Our experts at Carolina Home Remodeling will talk to you about your concerns, make safe recommendations for your bathroom, and create a remodeling plan that works perfectly for your needs.