Senior Home Care Safety – Modifying the Bathroom posted on: 06-02-2009

If you are concerned about the safety and ease of living for yourself or your parents as they grow older and want to stay in their home, some home modifications make sense.  As a leading provider of senior home care we have some hints and tips for you.

Remodeling a bathroom is the most common alteration within homes.

Consider incorporating some of these bathroom design features to make your bathroom or the bathroom of your parent safer, more convenient and easier to use now and in the future. This list includes simple changes to more extensive remodeling:

Easy mobility

  • Widen the doorway to at least 32”. 36” is better.
  • Determine a comfortable height for sinks and counters. Mount sinks at waist height if you are tall and you find this more comfortable because it reduces the amount of bending. Or consider access to a sink and counter height from a sitting position.
  • Pull-out shelves in cabinets are a more efficient use of space and don’t require as much bending and reaching.
  • Keep an open area under the sink to allow use of the sink from a seated position, if necessary. This can be accomplished with recessed pipes, pedestal sinks or wall mounted sinks.
  • Large shower areas are popular in bathroom designs. Design yours with a no-step entry, a sloped floor to the drain and a hand held shower hose. Add a seat or fold-down bench.
  • For a conventional tub, a vertical grab bar can assist in stepping in and out of the tub. Horizontal grab bars around the tub or attached to the edge of the tub can assist in sitting in the tub and coming back to standing.
  • Hang towels close and easy to reach from the tub or shower.
  • Select non-slip flooring for the bathroom and the shower.
  • Use non-slip strips or mat on the tub floor.
  • Select a comfort height toilet at 17” which allows for easier sitting and standing than the standard toilet height of 15”.
  • Locate the toilet in a direct path of travel from the bathroom door. Incorporate clearance space for mobility in case of a temporary or long term use of crutches, scooter, walker, or wheelchair.
  • Easy on the hands

  • Lever-style faucet handles in the sink, tub and shower are easy to operate.
  • Lever style door handles with button door locks are easy on the hands.
  • Rocker switches are easy to operate.
  • Select cabinet hardware that is easy to grasp such as C-shaped vertical handles.
  • Easy on the eyes

  • Install a night light. A glow switch that can be seen in the dark is convenient.
  • Incorporate the ability to increase lighting by turning on additional lights or increase the bulb wattage in fixtures. Additional lighting may be the key to avoiding an accident.
  • Aging In Place Specialists can offer a number of helpful remodeling and modification ideas. North River Home Care is happy to refer you to a suitable senior home care safety specialist, please give us a call.