3 Ways To Make A Safer Bathroom For Seniors
In this article we’re going to look at 3 ways to make a safer bathroom for seniors in Chicagoland and SE Wisconsin, while focusing on the actual bathing area.
The supreme risk is FALLING.
It happens in an instant.
It happens without much warning and it can destroy a life.
In fact, the CDC estimated long ago that a senior dies from a fall roughly every 20 minutes…
Hence, why this is one of the most serious issues we deal with here at America’s Bath.
Let’s begin with the common dangers you should be looking to address with a bathroom remodel for seniors.
Most Common Bathroom Hazards for Seniors
- Slippery/slimy shower enclosures, bathtubs and uncarpeted or unsecured flooring.
- Shower chairs that either aren’t slip-resistant or aren’t set up correctly and secured.
- Low toilet seats that can cause elders to fall into a) sinks and sink surfaces, and b) the bathtub or shower area typically right next to them.
- Insufficiently secured or downright loose towel racks or grab bars. Usually it’s not that they give with normal pressure, but when there’s an emergency and you have to suddenly grab onto them with far more body weight and force!
If you aren’t a senior or an elderly individual it’s impossible for you to really understand what it can be like.
Do you have an elderly family member or someone you care for in Chicagoland or SE Wisconsin who steers clear of the bathroom at all costs?
Have you caught them taking old school ‘Hippie Showers’ in the sink to avoid taking the risk of getting in and out of the bathtub?
Worse yet, we’ve come to the rescue for family members who discover the seniors in their lives have completely stopped showering/bathing and didn’t say anything!
That said, let’s talk about solutions.
#1: Make Everything They Need Easily Accessible
Seniors shouldn’t be standing on things to reach this or that. They shouldn’t need to really stretch themselves to grab something. They shouldn’t be taking risks or feel like they need to in order to get something without asking for help.
For seniors with mobility issues, accessibility is the core challenge.
Is it a real chore to get a towel or use the toilet?
Do they have to shuffle across a potentially hazardous flooring area to get from A to B?
For ‘regular’ folks, we barely think about accessibility when it comes to this part of our lives. As you design a bathroom remodel for seniors, however, it’s the centralizing concept.
#2: Pay Attention to the Small Details
Details, details, details, it’s the small things in life that really deserve our attention. For example, you want the bathroom to be softly lit but not too softly. It definitely shouldn’t be excessively bright when the lights are on, or completely pitch black when the prime illumination lights are off.
Instead, there should always be a minimum of a soft glow so seniors can clearly see where things are – toilet, sink, medicine cabinet, towels, light switches, etc.
Here are some other small details to check off your list when you’re considering a bathroom remodel for seniors:
- Is the storage area within the bathing enclosure appropriate or causing issues?
- Are there proper places for seniors to put their walkers and canes?
- Are faucet/bath/shower handles easy to grip and turn?
- Is it too cramped and difficult to maneuver around?
- Is the showerhead appropriate? Handhelds are ideal.
- Are there any issues involved with getting into and out of the bathtub or shower?
#3: The Components of an ‘Aging In Place’ Bathroom Transformation
If you live in the Chicagoland or SE Wisconsin areas, then we’re who you could call to come and completely transform your bathroom to be top-to-bottom senior friendly. Thing is, look at the screenshot below, and ask yourself who wouldn’t enjoy the benefits of an enclosure like this?
This is an example of a walk-in or roll-in (wheelchair accessible) showering enclosure of Cultured Stone with the following senior-friendly details.
- The low-barrier height is minimal compared to that of a conventional bathtub.
- The Grab Bar next to the seating area that’s within reach of the…
- Hand-held showering nozzle with a long hose.
- Ample storage space that’s in the right areas.
- The space is wide open and there’s almost no risk of bumping into things.
- If needed, we could design another by the grab bar with a sliding-glass door/handle as well.
Notice that wood paneling rather than slippery acrylic or tile as well.
Let’s take a top-down look at another example, this time enclosed rather than roll-in, straight from our gallery. This gives you a much better idea of what it’s like for a senior to be in a properly-designer enclosure with all the small details perfected.
Everything within reach, secured, and plenty of storage with safety at the forefront of the design. Once the door shuts there’s no real risk of falling during the bathing experience.
They can have everything prepared, sit down, relax, and wash themselves without worry.
In The Chicagoland or SE Wisconsin Areas?
If you’re within our Service Areas and ready to move forward with a bathroom remodel for seniors, give America’s Bath a call. We’ll send one of our well-trained, professional consultants to your home – no sales pressure involved whatsoever – to show you samples, provide you with all the data you need, and an iron-clad quote from us based on your overall remodeling needs.