The bathroom can become a challenging and accident-prone area for our aging parents or grandparents due to poor muscle strength, failing eyesight, and various other ailments. However, with some simple modifications, you can ensure their needs are met. Take a look at the changes below:
Maximizing Bathroom Safety for Seniors
Preventing slippage with anti-slip mats & tiles
Many falls occur during entry and exit from the bathtub or shower, which is a slippery area exposed to soap and water. To enhance safety, consider using an anti-slip mat in these spots. Anti-slip mats can also be useful at the bathroom entrance, in front of the toilet, or next to the basin. If you’re constructing a bathroom from scratch, opt for slip-resistant tiles for the entire room or just the shower. Additionally, applying an anti-slip coating on surfaces can provide extra protection. Another option is using non-slip adhesive tapes on basin edges to prevent hand slippage and visually mark slippery areas.
Install grab bars & bath seats
By strategically installing grab bars, you can transform your bathroom into a secure sanctuary for the elderly. These bars, which can be attached to the wall using metal studs or suction cups, provide sturdy support and can bear the weight of an adult. The portable option of suction cup grab bars allows for versatile use in other areas of the house as well.
For easy access in and out of the shower, position the grab bars nearby. Similarly, placing them next to the commode ensures a smooth transition into a seated position. If your elderly parent requires additional support, consider floor-to-ceiling tension poles.
Standing for extended periods can be challenging, so incorporating shower chairs with rubber leg tips allows them to comfortably sit and enjoy leisurely baths. To enhance the experience further, installing a handheld shower with a long hose enables easy maneuverability.
Improving toilets with adjustable seats
To avoid the need for excessive squatting, consider raising the height of the toilet seat to a preferable range of 16-17 inches. If you share toilets, you can purchase a raised seat that can be placed on top of the existing one and removed when not needed. Additionally, for enhanced safety, you can add brackets and locking clamps to the commode to stabilize the seat and prevent imbalance for elderly individuals when sitting down or getting up.
Right lighting & color
Many people mistakenly believe that overhead lighting is the best way to illuminate a bathroom. However, this can be problematic for the elderly as it creates shadows and uneven lighting in certain areas, such as under cabinets or behind shower curtains.
To ensure a well-lit bathroom, it is important to incorporate multiple lights. Separate lights should be installed near the sink, mirror, shower, and most importantly, along the pathway leading into the bathroom. This is especially important for nighttime or during power outages.
Additionally, it is recommended to use contrasting colors to clearly demarcate different areas of the bathroom. Avoid using high-gloss paints, as they can cause a confusing glare. Opt for matte paints instead, as they help enhance visual perception.
These simple steps can greatly improve the lighting and overall functionality of a bathroom.
Few other tips to improve bathroom safety:
- Install an emergency phone. Ensure that it is waterproofed and at a comfortable height.
- Include outward swinging doors. In case of accidents where the elderly person falls close to the door, this will give easy access.
- Mark hot and cold water handles clearly so that they do not burn themselves or get cold.
- Do ensure that there is no lip or hump at the entrance that has to be stepped over to enter the bathroom.
- Lastly, the bathroom should be clutter-free and have enough space to walk around.
These simple changes will greatly reduce the chances of accidents and give peace of mind to the elderly. Most importantly, it will help them live independently and confidently in their own home.
Why choose Livspace for your home interior design?
Livspace offers a wide range of customizable options and expert designers who can cater to your specific needs. We prioritize safety and functionality, ensuring that our designs are suitable for seniors.
Are these modifications expensive?
No, these changes do not have to be expensive. With some simple adjustments and strategic installations, you can greatly improve bathroom safety for the elderly without breaking the bank.
Will these modifications affect the aesthetics of my bathroom?
Not at all! With various styles and designs available for anti-slip mats, grab bars, and adjustable toilet seats, you can choose options that not only enhance safety but also complement your bathroom’s aesthetic. You can even opt for hidden grab bars that blend seamlessly with your bathroom’s design.
It is essential to prioritize safety and comfort in the bathroom for seniors. With small changes such as anti-slip mats, grab bars, and improved lighting, you can greatly reduce the risk of accidents and enhance your overall experience. These modifications do not have to be expensive or affect the aesthetics of your bathroom. By making these adjustments, you can ensure that your loved ones can live independently and confidently in their own home. So, don’t wait any longer, start making these changes today to create a safe and functional bathroom for your elderly loved ones! Remember, Livspace is here to help you every step of the way with our expert design services and customizable options. Let’s make bathrooms safer for seniors together! Stay safe and happy designing!