There will come a time when we need additional help around the house, whether this is in the form of elevated seating so that we can stand up more easily or installing grab rails so that we can steady and balance ourselves. Making these little changes can make our home feel a little less homely, but this doesn’t need to be the case if you plan them right. There are several ways you can integrate senior-friendly additions to your home without them ruining your home’s décor and aesthetic. And while it may take extra planning, the extra effort that you make can help you marry aesthetics with functionality so that you get the best of both worlds.
The bathroom is one room that will need a lot of attention. If you are struggling with mobility, tasks such as getting in and out of the bath and shower can become much more difficult, not to mention dangerous. With the additional risk of slipping because of water droplets and moisture collecting on surfaces, you need to minimise the chances of having an accident.
Looking for inspiration? Or perhaps you need ideas on what you should add to your bathroom for additional support? Either way, read on for more information on how to create a senior-friendly bathroom.
Understand their Needs
Before you start making any plans or ordering any parts, you will want to understand what it is you need out of your bathroom. For instance, do you need help with getting in and out of the shower or bath? Perhaps you struggle walking from one end of the room to another? Or is it that the sink is too low now and you need it raised? By knowing the pain points, you can save money by only changing the elements of your bathroom that are causing you issues but also ensure that you are not wasting your time making changes to parts that will not impact you positively.
If you are creating a bathroom for someone else, then take the time to sit down with them and listen to what it is they are struggling with. Whether they are a loved one or you are a contractor brought on to do the job, it is your duty to hear their needs and ensure that they are met.
Seating is important in a bathroom that is catered towards being senior-friendly. For starters, you will want to ensure that the toilet is high enough, has proper support, and is comfortable. You can add grab rails beside the toilet for additional support, too. What’s more, these mobility aids can be installed so that they do not stand out and fit into your bathroom’s aesthetic seamlessly. For example, Beautiful Bathroom have a selection of bathroom mobility aids that look stunning while also adding support to the person who needs to use them.
You may also need to consider installing a seat in the bath or shower so that you can sit down while bathing yourself or showering. This can reduce the risk of slipping or falling over, while also providing a seat to sit on if you ever need to take the weight off your feet and spend a few minutes recollecting your strength and energy.
Another way to add useful seating into the bathroom is through the inclusion of a plush chair that can sit comfortably in the corner. This provides additional comfortable seating for if you would like to sit and wait for your water to run and fill the bath, for example. It is also a great way to add beautiful décor into the bathroom as it can provide colour and warmth into your bathroom.
There are many benefits to a walk-in shower; for seniors who may have problems with mobility, it allows them easier access to the shower so that they can wash without the worry of having to get in and out if they have an over-the-tub showerhead. Typically, a walk-in shower is also paired with anti-slip flooring, making getting in and out of the shower a much safer task. Again, you can add grab rails so that they have additional support while showering, too.
The bathroom floor can easily become hazardous. This is because a bathroom can become damp and wet, and if moisture collects it can become a slip hazard that causes people to fall (and not just seniors, but anyone!). Shower and bath water can easily get on the floor, and because of the water’s transparency, it can be difficult to see and avoid puddles. While people are likely to add a bathmat or rug to their bathroom to counter this issue, the edges of a rub can become a tripping hazard and be just as dangerous.
This is where anti-slip flooring comes in. Basically, anti-slip flooring is created by chemicals being added to the tiled or stone surfaces. This chemical will change the surface of the floor, increasing its slip resistance and keeping you much safer when in the bathroom. Because you can apply a chemical onto tiles, you can choose which tiles you like best and that suit your overall design and aesthetic.
Creating a senior-friendly bathroom does not mean you cannot create a beautiful home. Work with your interior designer and listen to how they can help with the safety and functionality of your bathroom while also ensuring it looks aesthetically pleasing.