Advances in medicine prolong life but create a whole new set of challenges for seniors wishing to continue living at home. Aging has a way of making everyday activities like using a bathroom difficult, if not downright impossible. Luckily, there are a number of solutions available for remodeling a bathroom that will enable seniors to continue living in the privacy of their own home.
Remodeling a bathroom for senior living usually involves the removal of the traditional bathtub and replacing it with a safe, convenient walk in shower that also accommodates wheelchairs and walkers. The shower floor and built-in seat utilize non-slip surfaces and sturdy handrails, which decrease the risk of a dreaded fall and an expensive hospital stay. Using a licensed and bonded contractor to perform remodeling work is highly recommended.
Toilet height is often a problem for seniors with physical limitations who, once seated, find it difficult to stand up again. Removing the standard toilet and installing a higher seat with handrails on either side eases a dilemma that many face multiple times a day. The toilet paper dispenser will also need to moved higher to prevent accidental falls caused by leaning too far forward.
Remodeling the sink and surrounding area is also important. Those in a wheelchair cannot reach the sink, let alone the cabinets beside or above it and others using a walker usually require both hands to keep themselves balanced. Dropping the sink and towel bar down a couple of feet allow a person to remain seated while washing and drying their hands. Lower the cabinets as well and consider installing large handles on the doors instead of small knobs that arthritic hands may find difficult to grasp.
Removing rugs, magazines and wall hangings also make a bathroom easier to navigate. Most people prefer living in their own homes rather than an assisted living facility or worse, a nursing home. Making small but important changes to a bathroom not only permit a person to continue living where they choose, it also makes the strain of daily living with a physical limitation a little less difficult.