To age in place, your amenities need to cater to your current as well as your future needs. This means that you may need to upgrade and modify certain aspects of your bathroom to ensure you can safely remain in your home and can care for yourself independently for as long as possible.
As you age, you’ll start to experience declining vision, mobility, balance and dexterity. If you consider how often you visit the bathroom, and how occasionally urgent these visits can be, you can see how many bathrooms are accidents waiting to happen.
Here are six ways to upgrade your bathroom so you can age in place:
1. Easy to use door handles and lever tap fittings
1 in 5 Australians over the age of 45 have arthritis in their hands, not to mention those with disabilities or reduced dexterity. Easy to use door handles and lever tap fittings are a small but crucial bathroom modification that will put less strain on those with a limited range of motion, to ensure you keep your independence and can continue to care for yourself.
2. Grab rails
Grab rails can help to lift yourself up from a seated position or maintain your balance. In your bathroom they can help you to transfer on and off the toilet or in and out of the bath or shower unaided.
3. Adjustable shower head
A hand-held shower enables you to bring the water to you, instead of risking a slip and fall while moving around your shower. If you pair the adjustable shower head with a shower stool or seat, you can reduce your risk of falling while showering and increase your comfort level.
If you’d prefer to keep your hands free, there are other options including stands or adjustable poles to ensure you still use an adjustable shower head.
4. Shower chairs and benches
Shower chairs and benches enable you to bathe while remaining seated. This reduces your chances of slipping and falling and can give you ongoing comfort and stability to bathe with confidence.
You can use shower chairs to help with reduced balance, mobility and strength in your lower limbs or when being transferred out of a wheelchair.
5. Stepless shower area
When planning your bathroom modification for your current and future needs, consider converting your shower or bath into a stepless shower area. By removing the obstacles of shower steps or lips in a wet environment, you can reduce the risk of slips and falls.
You can also ask to have your stepless shower designed to accommodate a wheelchair or walker, so that you can wheel or walk yourself into your shower at any age and mobility level.
6. Relocation of common bathroom fixtures
Majority of bathrooms were designed by and for able-bodied people, with little regard for the usability and safety of those of us with different physical requirements. Our certified plumbers and builders have been working in the home modifications space for decades, so we know the best products and layouts to suit your current and future needs.
This might include removing baths, basins, toilets cupboards, towel racks and other common obstacles and relocating or replacing them with other, more appropriate fixtures that can help you navigate the area safely and easily.
Every family’s needs change as they get older, which is why we offer modifications suited to you and your family’s specific needs. We collaborate with occupational therapists to ensure all your physical needs are met. As registered builders, and certified plumbers there are several modifications we can offer to make your bathroom (and life) easier and safer for you as you age.
Don' know where to start? Contact our team today!