Creating the ideal aging in place bathroom design can be a bit overwhelming. Luckily, we’ve detailed a list of what should be considered and how to best plan for it. Read on.
Are you planning to renovate your house to facilitate aging in place? Then the first place you want to look is at your bathroom. While most modern bathrooms are considered with most young people in mind, they’re not great for older people. That’s why it needs to be remodeled first. Here’s how to plan for your remodel, and have a bathroom that will serve you well for years to come.
What is ‘Aging In Place’?
Firstly, what does it mean to ‘age in place?’ In short, it means that rather than moving to an assisted living facility, you stay at home as you grow older. If you choose to do this, then you’ll need to make some adjustments to your home in order to make it more senior-friendly. This includes removing trip hazards, making things easier to see, and allowing for the use of walkers or wheelchairs in the home.
Many homeowners are now looking into this, as it makes it easier for them to stay at home for longer. When you make these changes now, you’re setting your home up ready for your twilight years.
Planning Your Aging In Place Bathroom Design
Your bathroom can be a dangerous place when you’re older, so it needs to be the first place renovated. Make your plans now, and get it done first. That way, you’re all set. Here’s what you’ll need to do to make it the best aging in place bathroom design.
Widen the Doorways
First thing’s first, you’ll need to widen those doorways. As you get older, you may need to use mobility aids such as wheelchairs. You’ll need to widen most doorways to accommodate for that, so extending the opening to around 36 inches is recommended.
Plus, look into changing the door handles. Levers rather than knobs work better here. Finally, hang the door so it opens out, rather than in. That way, the door isn’t blocked if someone falls against it.
Change Out the Flooring
Right now, you probably have tiled floors. They’re great as they’re super simple to clean, but they are a safety hazard for older people. They are easy to slip on, so you’ll want to change that flooring out. Look for a non-slip vinyl or rubber flooring. You can get these in all kinds of designs, so you don’t have to sacrifice style for safety.
You may be on a tight budget, and replacing all the flooring would be out of your budget. If that’s the case, don’t worry. You can instead use non-slip mats on the floor in strategic locations if needs be. If you use these, use rug tape to fasten them to the floor, for added safety.
Add in Grab Rails
These are essential for the bathroom of any senior person. They make getting around the bathroom a lot easier, and safer. You should look to add them by the toilet, in the shower, and in the bath too. They’ll make getting in and getting out a lot safer.
The best grab rails should be able to support 300 pounds and will attach to the wall backer boards. That makes them safe to use for anyone in the bathroom.
Install a Walk In Bathtub
If there’s one place you splurge in your bathroom, it should be on the bathtub. As you get older, it will be harder to get in and out of the bath. It’s very easy to slip and fall in the tub, and so many older people lose some independence this way. You can avoid that with a walk in tub.
These feature a small door in the side of the tub, that allow you to simply walk in. Once you’re inside, there will usually be an anti-slip stool too. This way, you don’t have to stand as you’re bathing. It makes it a lot easier and safer, so you’ll be glad you did this.
Install a Shower Seat
If you have a stand alone shower or aren’t able to put in a walk in bathtub, then you’ll want to install a shower seat. These are perfect for those with joint pain or weaknesses, where they aren’t able to stand for long. You’ll be able to sit rather than stand in the shower, making it much easier to do so.
Introduce Anti Scalding Devices
Something to think about in your bathroom is anti-scalding devices. Hot water can cause injury, and you want to avoid that if at all possible. Check your water heater, as you can set the temperature and ensure it doesn’t go too hot. Anti-scald devices can be fitted on water fixtures, ensuring you don’t come into contact with too hot water.
Improve the Lighting
You’ll need better lighting in the bathroom, to help you see when you’re in there. Rather than overhead fixtures, many opt to install lower wall lighting or place it under shelves. You can also go for battery operated lights, as they won’t need any wiring. These days, you can install motion sensor lighting in your home too. That way, you don’t have to search for the light switch when you go in.
Install a Higher Level Toilet
For many older people, it’s harder for them to use regular toilets as they sit too low. Instead, you’ll want to look at putting a higher toilet in. One that reaches 17 to 19 inches is usually best. If you can’t budget for a new toilet seat, you can instead get a raised toilet seat. These make your initial toilet higher, and they reach around $50 making them a more affordable option.
There are so many ways that you can make your bathroom more suitable for aging in place. These are a few of the most common changes people make to their bathrooms, making them safer and easier to use. Make these changes now, and you don’t have to worry about a thing as you get older. It certainly makes it easier to stay in your own home.