On July 4, America celebrates its independence from British rule. It is also a great day to consider how you can help yourself or the aging adult in your life maintain personal independence. And one of the best ways to achieve that is through bathroom modifications.
Some bathroom modifications can be done for little cost. Others will require the help of an experienced contractor or home modification company, like Angelion Mobility.
If you or your loved one is a fall risk, large, nonskid mats placed inside the tub/shower can help, as can non-slip rugs on its outside.
Next, consider a bathtub transfer bench. A transfer bench straddles the side of a bathtub and helps seniors sit safely while getting into the tub. It helps them lift each leg, one at a time, over the bathtub wall.
If more stability is required, a bathtub chair, which sits completely inside the bathtub, may be better. Bathtub chairs allow seniors to turn around and sit with both legs outside the tub, and then lift one leg at a time over the tub wall – while remaining seated.
Adding grab bars to the tub/shower is essential. A simple stick-on or suction cup bar may seem adequate but may not support a person’s body weight. Bars should be properly installed into the studs of the wall and are best installed professionally.
Installing a handheld shower head or sprayer attachment helps people wash their hair and bathe more easily. It also cuts down on the need to stand while showering, which aids people who have trouble standing for long periods.
An elevated toilet seat will make getting up and down safer and more comfortable. Raising toilet height as little as three inches can make a difference. If a raised toilet seat isn’t effective enough, consider replacing an old toilet with a “comfort height” model toilet.
For those who have trouble getting on and off the toilet, there is even a powered lift that can help get a person to their feet off the toilet safely.
More Labor-Intensive Modifications
Consider Sink Height
For people in wheelchairs, lowering the bathroom sink provides opportunities for bathing, grooming, and hygiene to be performed independently. Before installing, account for proper knee clearance so that someone can comfortably maneuver close to the sink.
Sometimes, a grab bar is all someone needs as long as they can get in and out of the bathtub safely. If basic modifications to an existing shower/tub aren’t adequate for someone with mobility issues, a walk-in shower might be best. Walk-in showers provide easier and safer entries/exits than bathtubs because they are curbless and eliminate the need to step up and over any barriers. They’re also important for people in wheelchairs who need to make an easy transition to shower seats. It’s even possible to modify an existing bathroom so that one could roll their wheelchair into the shower!
You can do many modifications to your bathroom and still have a bathroom that can be slippery. An anti-slip treatment to the floor can make all the difference on lessening chances of a fall on your tile. Treating the tile does not change the look of your tile at all. It simply makes it safer when wet and lessens the chance of slip and fall injuries in the bathroom or anywhere in your house that you have tile.
Angelion Mobility offers many options to help make bathrooms a safer place. Whether you or the person with mobility limitations live independently or have minor or major physical disabilities, Angelion Mobility offers suitable solutions with assistive devices and safety products. To learn more, contact our Mobility Concierge.
If your goal is to foster independence and find solutions to age in place at home, what better time to learn about your options with Independence Day approaching? Empower your tomorrow with a Home Safety Assessment today.