Building a Safer Bathroom for Seniors

We had to have mom and dad’s bathroom remodeled to remove the tub and put in a walk-in shower with no threshold. They are getting older, and the tub is becoming too risky for mom to use. We had the tile treated to make it slip resistant. Instead of the drain being in the center, it was designed to drain at the back wall with a very slight slope. There is also a narrow strip drain at the door that is flush with the floor. We hired a place that does shower doors in Somerset County NJ to make a door big enough to get a shower chair through just in case mom gets to the point she cannot walk. Everything in the bathroom has been adjusted to accommodate their needs as they age.

We had more grab bars installed, and extra lighting was added smartly to avoid shadows. This helps dad to see to shave in the mirror, and allows them to not trip over anything. The bathroom has been fully insulated, and we had an electric heating system that works at the flip of a switch. It is on a timer in case they forget to shut it off. Little touches can make a difference when designing a bathroom to be used by seniors with some difficulty moving about. There is plenty you can do to make it safer. Big doorways, especially the shower doorway, and nothing to step over is important. Non-slip and treated slip-resistant flooring is very helpful. I think it may be better than having throw rugs with rubber backing in the bathroom. Those are actually a trip hazard. In order to keep their feet warm, the heat switch turns on the heat for the floor as well as overhead. No carpeting is necessary, not even a throw rug.

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