It’s important to consider how our needs might change in the future. For example, you will need certain fixtures and helpful components as you age. These safety features will mainly help prevent mishaps and accidents in the bathroom.
The bathroom is one of the most accident-prone places in the home. This report by WHO says that about 80% of falls in the home happen in the bathroom. Falling on your back or other parts can cause severe injury as you age. The worst part is that you would also hit your head.
That’s why thinking proactively about designing the bathroom becomes so essential. It’s important to adjust the layout and functionality of your bathroom. There are vital factors to consider, such as ease of accessibility, vision, and storage space. As you can imagine, the layout and functionality of your bathroom will change as you grow older.
Here are tips for designing your bathroom to be safe and functional as you grow older.
Age-Safe Ways to Design Your bathroom
Safe-proof Your Bathtub
The bathtub is one of the most important features of a bathroom. You can soak in it when you’re tired or take a bubble bath when you want to relax. However, if your bathtub is old and worn out, it could pose a severe risk to your safety while in or around the tub.
You could fall and injure yourself, or the tub could collapse. It’s essential to replace or repair it before you have your family or visitors come over. You don’t want to risk anyone falling or the tub collapsing on you.
Consider changing it to a sturdy yet stylish bathtub. For example, a bathroom freestanding tub will add elegance to your bathroom. In addition, we recommend a freestanding rectangular tub for more space while bathing.
To ensure optimum safety, you can install grab bars. The bars will help stop you from falling or even drowning. They will help you to get in and out of the tub easily. They come in a variety of forms. You can install grab bars on the wall, ceiling, or the side of the tub.
The flooring in your bathroom will be one of the first to show wear and tear. Worn-out bathroom floors can easily cause you to slip and fall. As you age, falling becomes a more serious health risk due to brittle bones.
It’s important to choose a flooring that’s both slip-resistant and easy to clean. Vinyl, linoleum, and wood are the most commonly used flooring materials in bathrooms. Sleek bathroom floors look good but are dangerous. They are all susceptible to moisture and can be very slippery when wet.
Opt for slip-resistant floor mats to avoid slip mishaps. You can also cover the bathroom floor with anti-slip floor tiles covers or rugs fastened to the floor.
Place the slip-resistant mats in strategic places in your bathroom. For example, put one at the spot where you step in and out of the bathtub. You can place them all around the bathtub if you have a freestanding tub. You can also set the mats inside the bathtub and shower cubicle.
Install an Adjustable Shower Head
An adjustable shower head makes bathing more manageable and convenient. It will ease bathing for people with arthritis, limited range of motion, and different heights.
If you have a limited range of motion, it can be difficult to aim a shower head that’s too low or too high. With an adjustable shower head, you can lower the water level or adjust the angle to ensure you get enough water to bathe and rinse off.
Showerheads come in a variety of styles, sizes, and shapes. There are shower heads with a built-in hand shower and different spray settings. Some also have built-in massage features and rotating sprays.
Install a Bath Seat
Bath seats are vital in keeping children safe in the tub. They also help the sick or elderly take a bath while sitting down. Standing up to have a shower can be draining for those with weak or compromised muscle strength. The seat keeps them from slipping below the waterline and clinging to the tub’s sides with all their might.
Choosing a bath seat for your bathroom will depend on the tub’s size and how you want to set it up. You don’t want a bath seat that’s too big or too small for your tub.
Raised Toilet Seat
Opt for a high toilet seat for people with arthritis, weak knees, or failing strength. The regular height of a toilet seat might be hard on their knees. With a high seat, they will be able to sit down and stand with minimal stress. Also, the toilet seat should have a lid. A lid keeps people from falling into the toilet while they use it.
For safety, you can install a handrail to the wall to assist with sitting on the toilet and standing up. But it will help them further if you attach a bidet to the toilet. Users can clean themselves with water instead of toilet paper with a bidet. This method is more hygienic and might limit your germ spread.
Light It Up
Adding lights to your bathroom can transform a space that’s dim and dingy. But adequate lights can create a relaxing atmosphere. A modern bathroom isn’t complete without adequate lighting. This includes ceiling fixtures and wall lights.
Consider using a wide placement of the same lights instead of a single overhead light. An overhead light will cause shadows which make it hard to find things. However, wall-mounted light fixtures will cause light to shine evenly in your bathroom.
There are several types of bathroom lighting. For example, there are lighting fixtures that are energy efficient. There are also long-lasting LED lights and waterproof lights ideal for bathrooms.
Make It Functional
The way you organize your bathroom will depend on your lifestyle and ‘s needs your family’s needs. For safety and ease of accessibility, it’s important to ensure safety accessories like a bathtub stool are within proper reach.
Make the location of the stool or seat clear. This way, people won’t have to search for a bathing stool or tub seat. These items need to be as accessible as possible.
There are many benefits to designing your bathroom to be safe and functional as you grow older. If not, the bathroom could pose a serious health risk to you or your family. Ensure the safety of the adults and children who use your bathroom by ensuring the toilet is safe for everyone to use.
- Story prepared exclusively for Honest Abe Log Homes by Daniel Martin