On the House

Bathroom Remodeling Tips Making Aging-in-Place Safer and Easier

Homeowners may find they need to adapt their bathrooms so it is safe for someone with limited mobility or physical impairments to use. The following are 9 tips that you can use today:
Remodel the bathroom on the main floor. If you have a house with multiple levels, consider remodeling the bathroom which is located on the same level as the bedroom of the physically impaired person who will be using it. Having to climb stairs every time they need to use the bathroom is challenging for individuals with limited mobility, and presents an increased risk.
Provide extra space in the bathroom. Make sure there is enough room in the bathroom to move a wheelchair around, with doorways set to at least 32 inches wide. And ensure that there is enough space to position a wheelchair next to the toilet, bath or shower, to enable a safe and easy transfer.
Stick with non-slip floors. Non-slip tiles are a must to prevent slipping and tripping on the bathroom floor. Loose rugs can be hazardous so stick with non-slip materials.
Make tubs and showers more accessible. Consider a customized bath wet area. Walk-in tubs are a great solution for the physically impaired, and older bath tubs can easily be replaced with a walk-in bathtub. Consider having a seating area in the shower so an individual does not have to remain standing the entire time while showering. And be sure that the tub and shower surfaces are non-slip as well.
Add grab bars. Using towel rails as grab bars is a major safety risk as they will not support a person. Instead, install grab bars. Having grab bars next to the bath, shower and toilet are critical to help support someone when they move around the bathroom.
Mind the lighting. Make sure you have ample lighting in the bathroom with a minimal amount of glare.
Remember an elevated toilet seat. People with mobility impairments often find it difficult to stand up from a low-set toilet. Adapting to an elevated toilet seat is helpful and reduces the stress of sitting and standing. Wheelchair users will also find that a wide toilet seat is beneficial, as they can then rely on a lateral sliding transfer to move from the wheelchair to the toilet seat and back.
Use low-maintenance materials. When you remodel your bathroom, consider using modern materials that are easy to clean, are mildew-resistant, and have a lifetime guarantee. There are many available options for colors, patterns, and styles.
Bathroom remodeling is a timely and cost-effective solution for homeowners who need to adapt their bathroom making it safer and more convenient for someone with physical impairments to use, while increasing a home’s value.
Morris and James Carey can be contacted at 1-800-737-2474 or visit their website at www.onthehouse.com.