Seniorizing The Bathroom: 10 Ways To Increase Your Safety, Convenience, And Satisfaction With The Powder Room
Even for younger people, the bathroom tends to be the most dangerous room in the house, so as you get older, you want this oft-used room to accommodate you in as many ways as possible and, most importantly, in terms of safety. When you decide it's high time to remodel your powder room, do it in such a way as to elevate your safety, convenience, and satisfaction all at once.
1. Move The Master Bathroom To The First Floor
One of the first priorities for a senior bathroom remodel is to make the room itself safely accessible. Contact a bathroom remodeling service if your bathroom isn't on the first floor and close to the main rooms you use, like your bedroom and the kitchen. You shouldn't have to climb stairs when you need to go, especially if you deal with a weak bladder, as many seniors do.
2. Make The Floor Safe And Comfortable For Shaky Feet
Another important safety consideration for your latrine should be the floors, and if you're serious about preventing the slips and falls that create peril for so many elders, make inquiries about professional-grade, slip-resistant flooring. That type of floor covering is designed for places like restaurants, where a tad of Tabasco sauce on the floor could be troublesome for a tipsy patron or scurrying server. Add thick, cushioned (also slip-resistant) rugs that coordinate with your decor, and you're good to go. Since falls are, statistically, the greatest threat to older folks, floors are something you should pay close attention to whenever you have work done in your home.
3. Remodel The Tub Or Shower Into Something Safer
Regular tubs and showers simply aren't made to protect the people who need it most; that's why it's a good idea to have yours upgraded to suit your changing needs. A curb-less shower, for example, leaves you nothing to trip over when entering and exiting, but taking it a step further and having a permanent, secure seat in there would benefit you even more.
4. Install Handrails In Important Places
Rails to guide and support you throughout the room are essential to keeping you upright; however, they need to be completely stabilized to be most effective. Don't rely on the do-it-yourself types or anything less than professional, fixed installation.
5. Give The Throne A Little Lift
If your throne seems to get further away the older you get, you're not alone. Traversing that distance can leave you vulnerable, so elevate the toilet, either with a thickly cushioned seat or a professional touch. Sometimes, raising the toilet required modifications to plumbing, but a bathroom remodeling service should have you covered, no matter how you wish to give rise to the commode.
6. Expand The Walking And Working Area
If possible, ask your bathroom remodeling contractor about expanding the walking space in your bathroom to make navigating the room safer, especially for canes and walkers. Even with no walking aides, you should not be forced to maneuver around precariously, including when closing the door behind you.
7. Increase The Lighting
Your remodeled bathroom should have plenty of lighting, including motion-sensor lights that illuminate your way at night. Make sure the vanity is well-light, too, for close-up activities like shaving and applying makeup. Your tub or shower should also be bright enough that you're never in the dark about where to reach your hand out or put a foot down.
8. Invest In A Personal Organizing System
Having built-in drawers and shelves means quick and easy access to the items you use most, which should create a safer experience in your powder room. You don't want to have to reach too high or too low, and you never want a precarious pile of something to fall over on you. Ask your contractor if a customized arrangement can be made, just for you.
9. Switch To Easy-Turn Faucets And Controls
Having to fight with a faucet before brushing your teeth isn't a very relaxing way to prepare for bed and there's really no reason for it, considering all the options in faucets. Faucets with levers, for example, rather than turning knobs, are much easier to work and allow easy switching between cold, warm, and hot water.
10. Adjust The Hot Water Temp To Avoid Scalding And Other Scary Consequences
Most especially if your bathroom is used by anyone with memory challenges, who might forget to check the temperature on the water before stepping into the tub, your hot water heater should be adjusted to a safe temperature. Additionally, hot water can actually lower your blood pressure, making the situation even more potentially dangerous. Fluctuations in blood pressure may cause you to feel dizzy, even for a few seconds, which is long enough to put you (or anyone else) at risk in the powder room.
The bathroom is no place for compromises, especially when you're older, less agile, more fragile, and in need of a little extra support. Make your remodel a means of elevating this important room to suit you personally and take good care of you in the ways that really matter.