Aging in Place and Promoting Independence Through A Safer Bathroom

The vast majority of seniors want to remain in their houses and live with dignity and independence. Our bodies and minds change as we age, so we need to make some fixes to our environment in order to prevent any accidents and reduce the anxiety of those who care for you the most. The majority of falls in the house occur in the bathroom, so naturally this is where we will start. The majority of these are low cost and easy DIY.

  1. Install a Bidet attachement. Easy and cost effective. You can find one under $100 and they save money on toilet paper and are more hygienic. They also promote bathroom independence for those having issues with dexterity in their hands. See our bidet blog for more in depth rationale.
  2. Paint the walls a contrasting color from the floor. Easy visual cues separating walls from floor will reduce falls.
  3. Adjustable shower head height allow users to be able to use in standing or sitting position. The slide bars can adjust up to 80 inches on some models. An oversize shower head is also a good idea to maximize water coverage. This allows the water to cover a larger area resulting in less movement from the user. A detachable shower head is key. This used with a pause button is effective and efficient.
  4. Automatic lights that turn on when you enter the room is a great way to prevent falls in the middle of the night. Inexpensive and easy to install.
  5. Liquid soap dispenser mounted on the shower wall is a great way to prevent slipping in the shower picking up soap.  It is also more hygienic if there are multiple users in the shower.
  6. Door handles vs door knobs. Door handles are easier on the hands and should be used throughout the house.
  7. Raised toilet seats are less strenuous on the knees and back. Less bending is a good thing. Why work harder when it comes to the toilet?
  8. Use slip resistant ceramic tile. Find tile with a groove that will make it more difficult to lose footing. Stay away from glazed ceramic and “stick” to the more natural tile that has a more grooved surface area. For shower areas, anti slip maps are a must.
  9. Grab bars are key. Not just in shower area but can be used throughout bathroom. Install a toilet paper holder that doubles as a grab bar just to be safe.
  10. There are many expensive options for bathtubs with doors and walk in options.  A much safer and more design friendly option is the walk-in shower. A large shower area with adjustable shower heads is wheelchair safe and looks great. Add a bench for ultimate luxury and shower experience.

There you go, a few ideas to get you started to creating a more safer and pleasurable bathroom experience.

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