Bathroom Remodeling Tips for Elderly Access

Bathroom Remodeling Tips for Elderly Access

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When remodeling your bathroom, adding a few items to improved access and safety can make a considerable price difference when you’re selling the house. If you do not plan to sell, but you’re remodeling for a person who’s faced with mobility challenges, then keep in mind that this does not have to be a budget-breaking project – quite to the contrary, you can make a huge difference with a very small investment.

 

No-Slip Floors

 

Flooring is extremely important during a remodeling project – and it will dictate the entire aspect of the room. When you start your planning, work from the floor upwards: it’s important to find a non-slip surface, that’s easy to clean and maintain, and, depending on the color scheme, you can decide on the walls and other surfaces later, since these are not critical.

If the budget is extremely tight, you can avoid re-tiling the entire bathroom and use carpeting instead – just make sure it’s safe to walk on even when the room gets wet and steamy and the visibility is low.

 

Grab Bars

 

Grab bars are a must-have item, and, fortunately, they’re quite cheap and can be installed as part of a DIY project – even if you hired a contractor to do other parts, you can leave these towards the end of the remodeling job and install them yourself. Alternatively, you can have a contractor install the bracing, and you can put in the actual bars a bit later, when everything else is completed. Typically, grab bars should hold around 300 pounds, and they should be coated in a surface that allows easy gripping.

 

Easy-Access Toilet

 

When remodeling the bathroom so as to allow easy access for the elderly, most people think that the main problem will be the tub – but in fact, the toilet seat can be quite challenging to use too, for a person with limited movements and difficulties standing up or sitting down. You can purchase a toilet seat that’s at the same height as a regular chair, or, if one of those is not within your budget range, you can go for a seat extender. Toilet seats should be planned by taking into consideration the particular problems and challenges of the person living in that house – sometimes a handicap-accessible toilet may be required, but, in other cases, this can do more harm than good.

 

Showers and Bathtubs

 

The safest option when it comes to showers and bathtubs is the walk-in kind. While showers are not a big problem, walk-in tubs, which are lower at one end and higher at the other, can be quite expensive and difficult to install.

Walk-in showers have to provided with seating, grab-bars, and a non-slip coating on the floor, for maximum safety.

 

Improve Lighting

 

Good lighting is essential for people with poor eyesight, and it’s a constant problem in the bathroom anyway. Make sure you have a good main fixture, which provides sufficient ambient light to see all surfaces and corners clearly, without causing any glare. A large mirror on one wall can also help, by reflecting light of the fixtures back into the room.

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