Many people consider some small bathroom renovations to either create a haven in their home or to increase the value of it. But one of the biggest reasons to renovate a bathroom typically gets overlooked. Overhauling the bathroom to make it safer for an aging population is not only a sound investment for value, but it is also imperative to invest in your older loved one’s safety and care.
Statistics show that one of the most dangerous places for the elderly in any home is the bathroom. With lots of slippery surfaces and not many things to hold onto, slips and falls are abundant in the bath and can lead to various injuries. With a ton of new safety products on the market that both safeguard your elderly parent and are aesthetically pleasing, renovating to keep them safe while performing self-care is a no-brainer.
Baby boomers are notorious for refusing to mentally accept their limits in mobility. When renovating their spaces, many don’t give thought to how they can make it safer, even though they insist that it is their long-term home. Not many elderly people understand the importance of building for their future, instead of just renovating for today. They often overlook innovative products that can make their lives more convenient without sacrificing high-end details and beauty.
Adding things like a grabbing bar to the shower or a no-step entrance can be done with ease, but not many builders or older construction clients are thinking for the future. Widened shower spaces and doorways are easy enough to accommodate, but not many baby boomers incorporate them into their overall design.
The baby boomer generation undeniably was one of the last generations to “save enough” to have the disposable income to renovate as they get older, but what they also are is a generation that believes in being self-reliant, even sometimes to their own detriment. There are many changes that can make an elderly homestead useful without compromising style.
If you have an elderly person in your life who is thinking about renovating their bathroom space, these are some great ideas to bring to their attention. Even if you are met with resistance, it might get them thinking in the right direction.
If you are going to remodel the bathroom, you should consider the potential of wheelchair access for door openings and showers. Think about the limitations that older people can have in depth perception, which can be corrected by adding more space to move around. Accommodating things like canes and walkers can help make their daily grooming habits easier and may negate them from requiring help as they age. Make sure to leave enough room around the toilet, bath, and cabinets for any appliances or help they might need for mobility.
There are many ways to accommodate a toilet to make it easier for the elderly to use. For their safety and comfort, putting an extender on the toilet will mean that they will have to do less bending and will ensure that they don’t have any problems getting up. The height can be adjusted to accommodate any limitations that they have currently or in the future, and can assist a wheelchair if necessary. Also, don’t forget things like the placement of the toilet paper holder.
Bars in the bathrooms and showers
When older people are getting into and out of things, they often need something to hold onto to help their balance. Installing grab bars in the bath, the shower, and even the hallway will assist them in making their way to the bathroom. It will also cut back on the likelihood that they can fall and hurt themselves. If they have difficulty getting into a bathtub, then consider a walk-in bath or shower. It will allow them to stay seated while either bathing or showering, negating safety concerns.
Making a shower, convenient
Not only should you take space precautions for doorways and shower entryways, but also ensure that the fixtures you choose are easily accessible. Using adjustable showerheads is a great way to accommodate those who have to sit in the shower and will make it much safer than making them stand up. Make sure that there are at least 36 inches in the shower so that if they should be wheelchair-bound, they will have enough room.
The baby boomer generation is a self-reliant one with disposable income, who usually enjoy high-end luxury. When they renovate, they want things to be beautiful. Typically, their idea of beauty isn’t a wheelchair-accessible toilet or a grab bar. But if your aging parent is doing a bathroom renovation, it might behoove you to be the voice of reason and convince them and the contractor to build in convenience and safety measures that might save them from needing help or getting injured in the future. If they intend to live alone, make sure that you set things up so that they can do so with ease and convenience.