Each year, millions of seniors in America are faced with some tough decisions when it comes to deciding between moving into an assisted living facility or living in their own home as they age. It's no surprise that a vast majority prefer to stay in their homes, but safety and comfort are among the top concerns.
Commonly referred to as "aging in place," more and more people are choosing to maintain an independent lifestyle as they grow into their twilight years. This usually comes with a number of home modifications for seniors to help accomplish daily tasks and stay safe – especially in the bathroom. Bathroom floors often become slippery with water and create dangerous situations that can result in a nasty fall.
Pearson specializes in bathroom remodels and can install modifications to keep seniors safe while enjoying their independence. There are a number of ideas that one should keep in mind while designing a bathroom for themselves or a loved one who'd like to stay in their home:
- Starting with the very first component of the room, widening the doorway by a couple feet helps accommodate individuals who require the use of a wheelchair or walker to get around. This is, of course, dependent on the amount of space around the door before it's widened, but creating a larger entryway is one of the first steps to creating a safer bathroom for those aging in place.
- Walk-in tubs are a great alternative to a traditional bathtub or shower for seniors aging in place. Like the name implies, these types of tubs are built with higher edges and a swinging door to allow someone to simply, walk in. Stepping in and out of the tub can be incredibly dangerous, especially for those with decreased mobility, due to the amount of water and the requirement to step over the edge of the tub. Having a walk-in tub helps prevent falls associated with stepping in and out of a bathtub and are deeper than traditional ones for a more comfortable, relaxing bath.
- Even though walk-in tubs are helpful for the aging in place process, they can be expensive and take up a lot of room. For those who have a limited budget or bathroom space where a walk-in isn't an option, shower seats are a fantastic way to add safety and comfort without breaking the bank. Shower seats help eliminate the chances of falling while standing and allow the individual to relax while taking a shower. The seats are often adjustable and can be combined with a handheld shower wand for added convenience.
- Large amounts of water combined with tile flooring can cause anyone to slip and fall, not just the elderly. Fortunately, slip-resistant tiles and vinyl flooring can be found at most hardware stores and can prevent falls in all areas of the bathroom. Manufacturers of nonslip flooring even rate the grip factor of their tiles, so you can find the perfect fit for your bathroom. Generally speaking, the more texture you can observe and touch on a piece of flooring, the less likely it will be to cause a slip.
If you've considered making your bathroom safer or helping a loved one who's aging in place, call Pearson! We'll come out for a free estimate and help figure out how you can add safety and comfort to your bathroom.