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Accessible Bathroom Design Tips for Seniors

Bathrooms are one of the areas in the house that's prone to accidents. It's especially important to renovate it according to a senior's capability.

By Clarissa LearyPublished 3 years ago 4 min read
Accessible Bathroom Design Tips for Seniors
Photo by DesignClass on Unsplash

As more and more seniors are keen on aging in the comforts of their own homes independently, rather than in-home care institutions, accessible homes have become popular. As a result, home renovations among the elderly and even young ones have focused on accessibility and not just on style.

Many have already realized that as they age, there is a need to make their home as accessible and safe as possible suited to their needs.

By Roy Javier on Unsplash

Almost all the entire fixtures of the house need to be remodeled when re-redesigning an accessible home. This is to ensure that all areas of the house are adaptable to the needs of the individuals who will live there. However, due attention should be given when designing or remodeling the bathroom because this is one of the most critical areas, and more prone to accidents.

Four Tips for an Accessible Bathroom Design

Here are 4 tips on designing or remodeling the bathroom for accessibility:

1. Safety

This is the main reason for designing and remodeling a house, especially a bathroom, built for accessibility. Safety in every angle is very critical. Spacing in the doorways should be adequate enough especially for wheelchair and walker users. Doors should have lever-type handles for easier grip. Switches and outlets are to be located at the comfort range of the user/s. Switches and plugs with light indicators are a necessity for this will ensure visibility to the user. For the flooring options, non-slip tiles are to be used to provide proper footing. Accidents in the bathroom usually happen because of slippage. Install grab bars and handrails for additional assistance and support in the bathroom. It is best to make the bars and handrails easy to grip by covering them with rubbers. This will aid individuals in standing and sitting down. The bathroom should be provided with proper lighting in the shower area and even in the vanity area to aid in brushing teeth, shaving, make-up application, and to see clearly the labels of medications and other health or beauty supplies.

Shower seats may be added for further assistance when taking a shower. You may opt to construct a seat not higher than 2 feet. You may also consider a folding seat but make sure not to install it with legs to avoid tripping inside the shower area.

Edges of the surfaces and fixtures must be round to avoid injuries caused by bumps.

2. Convenience and Function

In constructing or remodeling a bathroom, it should be convenient and functional as well. What good can the fixtures bring you if they are not convenient and functional enough! Right? The sinks should have a clear base and without cabinets underneath. This will allow wheelchair users to move forward and use the faucet with ease. Pull-out cabinets are beneficial as well. This provides easy storage and accessibility to towels, soaps and shampoos, special equipment, beauty products, and other accessories used in the bathroom. Keep them low and easy to reach so supplies can easily be accessed. Plan to make storage areas adjustable as the need arises. This would allow the user/s to accommodate larger amounts of supplies in the future. The height of countertops and sinks must be at the comfort range of the user/s. Before adding some vanity fixtures, the convenience of the user/s in using the counters must be the priority.

3. Adaptability

As you remodel the perfect bathroom for all your needs, consider all the members of the family who are going to use it as well. Fixtures must be adaptable to all the members of the family to ensure accessibility. Spaces must meet the needs of all the users and not just one. Switches must be at a proper height or range for everyone to see and reach easily. If space permits, you may want to install two sets for each fixture such as the showerhead and controls, sinks, and toilet bowl. If you have both children and the elderly at home, this bathroom will be a perfect fit for them. Pull-out cabinets and shelves must be adjustable and easy to push and pull for both kids and seniors. In so doing, users will have more comfort in using every fixture and equipment in the bathroom.

4. Longevity and Style

The bathroom design should be able to not only adapt to your needs at present but must be able to grow with you as time passes by. Though you may update the décor such as curtains and other accessories, it should last for many years, as the renovation is costly. Therefore, design your bathroom the way you want to see it for at least the next ten years. You wouldn’t want to remodel it over and over again simply because it has lost style. Choose designs and colors that suit your personality but at the same time with that of your family, besides you will be seeing the bathroom every day! Why not make it as stylish yet functional as possible?

Before starting with the construction of an accessible bathroom, every detail of the design must be carefully scrutinized. It’s best to choose first all the needed fixtures, equipment, and finishes before diving into the project. This way, you will have a true feel, idea, and cost of the bathroom remodeling.

Make sure you have chosen all the needed materials suited to you and your family’s needs because if you don’t, additional expenses will surprise you.


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