When your mobility is perfect, there are few things to worry about. For people with mobility challenges, such as the elderly, things are a little different. Even a seemingly simple task like taking a shower becomes a big challenge. According to records at the National Institute on Aging (NIA), more than 30% of seniors of at least 65 years old fall every year. Majority of these accidents happen in the bathroom because of slippery floors and lack of support, among other factors.
That is why if you are in charge of a bathroom remodeling project in Salt Lake City or any other location and a senior will be using the facility, you need to consider accident prevention. Here’s how to do it:
Include Safety Rails
Bathroom remodeling for seniors will simply not work without safety rails. In simple terms, rails are installed to offer support when using the bathroom and walking around. They are available in a broad range of styles and types, so everyone should get a suitable one. A popular category is freestanding support and fixed support. Whichever you choose, users will find the rails helpful when standing, walking, or sitting.
Use Non-Slip Floor/Mat
Some people use non-slip mats, while others install non-slip floors. The idea is the same. You want to make sure that chances of sliding in the bathroom are close to zero. As you use the bathroom, such a surface provides enough friction. You can combine a mat and non-slip floor, placing the latter at the entrance, just to be extra safe.
Keep the Phone Accessible
Other than having easy access to toiletries, seniors should have their phones close at all times. Keeping the phone nearby is the best way to ask for assistance when necessary. You never know when something unexpected happens, so it makes sense to provide a shower caddy in the bathroom.
Install a Walk-in Bathtub
Mobility for seniors is much easier with a walk-in tub. The difference between a walk-in tub and the conventional one is that the former has a door that you have to close after walking in. The problem of having to lift legs is non-existent, so fall risks are minimal if any. Apart from the safety door, there are other exciting features, including handrails and flexible bubble jets. While this installation can be pricey, you can guess it is worth the convenience and safety.
Make Doorway Bigger
There are many recommendations for doorway space for seniors, which are obviously larger than the customary 26 inches. For seniors, anything from 32 to 36 inches is acceptable. With this, you are giving room for even a wheelchair. In essence, space should be adequate for users using any form of support: wheelchair, cane or walker, etc.
Provide Adequate Lighting
The type of color and lighting you apply in the bathroom is equally important for seniors. Unlike what many homeowners believe, overhead lighting is not the best for elderly users. On the contrary, multiple lighting from all angles works perfectly. Consider applying contrasting colors for easy differentiation of different corners of the tub or bathroom.
You can prevent unpleasant instances in the bathroom for seniors by incorporating these ideas. If you are interested in more solutions, get in touch with one of the best bathroom remodeling contractors in your area.