5 Bathroom Upgrades for Aging Loved Ones

June 2, 2017

Houses need to change to fit whatever phase of life its occupants are in. Families with young children need their home to meet certain safety requirements, while empty nesters may desire their space arranged differently. With elderly care, there are parts of the home that may need remodeling to provide the best use. Few rooms need more remodeling for aging home owners than the bathroom. Physical limitations, age-related conditions, and more can turn a bathroom into a serious of obstacles that prevent the elderly from taking care of themselves.


Here are 5 ideas that should be incorporated into any bathroom remodel for the elderly:


1. Install a New Toilet
Getting up and down from a deep seated position can be tough for seniors with bad hips, knees and backs. There are a wide range of chair-height toilets available for installation that brings the seat of the commode several inches higher than a traditional one. This toilet should be installed by a professional, along with a support bar on one or both sides of it so that the senior can have sturdy places to grab.


2. New Tub Enclosure

Many seniors have difficulty with stepping up and over a tub wall. Lifting their legs and getting in and out of a tub/shower combo can lead to a painful slip and fall accident. Some people choose to take out the bathtub completely and replace it with a walk-in shower, while others choose to install a walk-in tub. These specialty tubs have a door and built-in seat so seniors can easily get in, get clean, and step out again.


3. Threshold-free Shower

A lot of shower designs have sliding glass doors or metal and tile thresholds that stick up by several inches from the floor. That threshold, plus the small opening for seniors and caregivers have to access the shower head, make it difficult to maneuver. A senior-friendly bathroom remodel could include a threshold-free shower space or wet room. For a wet room, the shower area is not enclosed by a door or curtain. Instead, splash guards are installed to keep water off the floor.


4. Movable Shower Heads

When showering, people twist and turn to get the water to go where they want it to. For seniors, moving around on a slippery surface is a bad idea. A handheld shower head or one that is affixed to a telescoping arm allows seniors to direct the water as desired, lowering their chances of slipping and falling. They are especially useful when combined with a shower stool that lets the senior sit in the shower and position themselves within the stream of water for maximum effect.


5. Wheelchair-friendly Sinks

Many sinks look beautiful but they are not very friendly to seniors that are in wheelchairs, electric scooters or walkers. Cabinet-style sinks don’t have any room around them for these devices, causing the senior to have to bend over to use it. Bending can throw an elderly person off-balance and cause them to fall. Pedestal sinks and cutaway sinks are easier for seniors with wheelchairs, scooters and walkers to get close to the basin and faucets.


Elderly care is full of challenges, but the bathroom doesn’t have to be one of them. When your elderly loved one has trouble taking care of themselves in the bathroom, it may be time for a remodel.


If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Greenwich, CT, contact Star One Home Care and Medical Staffing at 718-733-2222 or 914-362-0899.  Call today!

Patricia Coffie, RN, BSN, MFA

Patricia Coffie, RN, BSN, MFA

Director of Client Services at Star One Home Care
Patricia Coffie, RN, BSN, MFA is Director of Client Services & Director of Phoenix Nurse Aide Training Center. Before assuming the post in 2012, Patricia was the Director or Nursing & Service Delivery at WRC for 3 years where she was the strategic lead for nursing and services to members.

Patricia started her nursing career 19 years ago at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and research institution in New York City, and since then has gained experience in Adult Intensive Care Units (ICU) , Pediatric Care (PICU ), Operating Room (OR) , mental health and community settings. She later moved into director of nursing roles, where she obtained extensive experience in leading and developing the nursing profession. She also pioneered good partnership working with other health care organizations, as well as social services, and the wider community.
Patricia Coffie, RN, BSN, MFA

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