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How to make your bathroom design senior-friendly
Posted on Tuesday, June 19, 2012

If you're anticipating becoming a caregiver for a relative who is reaching old age, or if you're planning to age in place in your home, you might need to consider a few bathroom design updates that are senior-friendly. Not only will a few renovations make the space safer, but they'll make the bathroom a comfortable place that's easily accessible. Here are a few updates to consider.

1. Walk-in bathtubs or steam showers. Getting into and out of the bath or shower is often a problem for seniors, who have trouble finding their footing on slippery surfaces and might have issues stepping over ledges or the sides of the tub. Walk-in models are a more attractive option that won't jeopardize the individual's safety.

2. Grab bars. Whether they're near the toilet, sink, shower or tub - handrails and grab bars are a good investment. You or your relative will have something to hold onto for balance or in the event of a fall. These additions could prevent a lot of injuries.

3. Non-slip mats for the shower or bathtub. As tiles, tubs and wet floors can be slippery, it never hurts to lay a few non-slip mats in the area to prevent falls. Make sure the whole area is covered, and consider placing them right outside the tub or shower as well.

4. Shelving in the shower. Rogue bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash or even bars of soap can become huge obstacles underfoot when there's an elderly person using the shower or bath. To make sure that everything has a secure place to rest, install shelving in the shower or tub.

5. A seat. A shower or bath seat is helpful for elderly people who may not be able to stand steadily for the length of a wash. Look for a comfortable model that won't take up too much space when it's not in use.

6. An expansive medicine cabinet. Needless to say, old age comes with more ailments, which may translate into more medications. To accommodate pill bottles, liquid medications and other medical accessories, a larger medicine cabinet with plenty of storage space may be necessary.

7. Brighter lighting. To help seniors see better, it may be necessary to have a few more lighting fixtures installed. They should provide plenty of light without being too harsh. Natural light from windows is preferable for daytime, as it's cheap and simple!



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September 16, 2013 at 2:48 AM  

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