Home is a place of comfort and deep attachment, but our physical abilities and needs start to change as we age, and our homes may not always reflect that. To sustain the warmth and comfort, you feel at home, accommodations may be in order. The bathroom is where you’ll need to start, as many safety concerns likely need adjustments.
The bathroom is one of the riskiest parts of the house for injuries and accidents. Modifying it is key to keeping it safe, healthy, and comfortable. Luckily, there are many solutions.
Some general safety precautions will significantly benefit your bathroom. Installing bathroom grab bars in areas around the toilet, shower, and sink will allow easy movement and stability. There are many different bars, ranging from rails to standing poles, that can help you stand up in the bath. They are affordable as well, which makes them a fantastic basic solution. Adding grip tape to the bars will also prevent slips or falls if your hands are wet. Another way to prevent falls is by improving flooring. Non-slip bath mats and rugs will help decrease the risk of falls, and a less expensive option is to simply add non-slip tape to bathtubs.
Beyond these general additions, there are many specific areas of concern, including the door itself. First of all, they need to be wheelchair accessible, i.e., wide enough to accommodate the wheels. However, the cost for this modification will vary depending on the electrical and insulation features in the surrounding walls.
Next is the sink. Sinks are generally not a safety concern, but using a twist faucet can be inconvenient if you have limited strength and mobility. Switching faucets to lever handles is a relatively inexpensive and easy solution. If you prefer not to use your hands, foot-operated faucets are also available.
Another problem area is the toilet. Getting on and off the toilet is difficult for those with less strength, and there’s always a threat of slipping and falling. Besides installing rails and bars, there are safety frames with arms that can be installed directly on the sides of the toilet to help you stand. Raising the toilet seat itself can also help. These two options can be combined, and there are many toilet seat raisers with arms that are also good additions.
The shower or bathtub is the feature most in need of attention, and it usually requires more modifications than other parts of the bathroom to avoid slipping and make it easier for those with less strength to stand up. Changing a bathtub to a walk-in shower is a dramatic modification, but it will make it significantly easier to walk in and out of. However, if that isn’t possible, many attachments or individual items will make showering much more manageable. Even just changing a showerhead to a handheld spray attachment will make showering easier if you can’t stand for extended periods. A shower chair will also be helpful.
Bathroom modifications are essential for you to continue to enjoy life in your own home. Making it easier to get around will ensure that staying at home is just as safe as it is comfortable.