A CDC report from 2011 says that thousands of people each year are injured in the bathroom due to accidents—mainly slipping and falling in a bathtub or shower. If you have seniors living with you, like aging parents, then it may be a good idea to make your bathroom more accessible during remodeling endeavors. Seniors are quite susceptible to serious injuries, like hip fractures, when falling since bones become more brittle with age. Here are some remodeling ideas to get you started.
Walk-in tubs have many great features that can help senior family members. For one thing, people won't have to do a balancing act stepping in and out of a tub. Walk-in tubs have doors that can be opened for easy access and a low step-in floor.
Many manufacturers of walk-in tubs understand that these designs are meant to make the bathroom safer, so some may even come with helpful features, like built-in seating, handheld showerheads, and anti-slip surfaces. If you want to really splurge, or senior family members suffer from joint pain, then you may also want a tub that has water jets.
Shampoo/Soap Shower Niche
If you don't have the budget for a new tub or would rather just have a walk-in shower, then a shampoo/soap shower niche is a great compromise. These niches are reasonably priced and can be installed as recesses in the wall of your shower with tiled mosaics.
Soap niches are important so that you don't have to have bottles on the ground of the shower or on the edge of a tub. Soaps, shampoos, shaving cream, body wash, and other products can be tripped over, and if they are on the floor, then their liquids can leave a slippery residue.
Grab Bars by the Toilet
While the tub/shower is the hotspot for slips and falls, seniors can also have difficulty getting up and sitting down on the toilet with ease. Installing grab bars is a great way to avoid overexertion and falls. Some people use suction cup grab bars in the shower and by the toilet. However, suction-cup grab bars are very dangerous since the suction can decrease each time a person pulls it with their weight. Instead, have a contractor install bolted grab bars that are permanent.
If you incorporate one or all of these ideas, you'll be able to make your bathroom that much safer for senior family members and visitors. Talk with a contractor to get a quote on your remodels.