How to Prepare a Bathroom for Aging Parents
Preparing a bathroom for aging parents requires special consideration. You’ll want to think about the design and details to ensure you’re creating an environment that’s safe and accessible, even for those with limited mobility. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the preparations you can take to ensure your bathroom is comfortable and designed to accommodate your aging parents.
Safety Considerations for Your Bathroom
The bathroom can be a dangerous place for individuals with limited mobility. The tight space, slippery surfaces, and high thresholds of bathtubs can all create risks for aging parents. As a starting point, look at the specific elements of the bathroom to determine what changes may be needed. Some examples include:
- The bathroom vanity – Is the countertop at a standard height? Is the faucet easy to turn on and off? You may want to consider faucets with levers instead of knobs, as these can be easier to operate for individuals with arthritis.
- The width of the doorway – Doorways are required to be at least 36 inches wide to allow for accessibility. Still, this can be a tight space for someone in a wheelchair. An extra-wide door can help for maneuvering into and out of the bathroom.
- The height of the toilet seat – For aging individuals, a higher toilet seat is typically preferred as it makes it easier to sit down and stand up. Grab bars around this area can also provide some much-needed stability.
Choosing a Bath or Shower for Your Aging Parents
Beyond the vanity, toilet, and doorway, one of the most important areas to address when preparing your bathroom for aging parents is the wet area. The slippery surfaces of a bathtub, along with the high thresholds for entering and exiting the tub, are not ideal for individuals with limited mobility. Fortunately, you have a few different options available. First, you can choose a walk-in tub. This bathing enclosure is specifically designed for individuals with limited mobility. It features a swinging door for easy entering and exiting, built-in seating and grab bars for enhanced stability, and easy-to-control faucets, shower wands, and more to complete the bathing experience.
However, a walk-in tub isn’t your only option. Another popular selection is to convert the bathtub into a barrier-free shower. This can be a great option for someone in a wheelchair who can then roll into the shower space to bathe. Eliminating barriers and thresholds is essential for creating a safe environment where every family member can bathe with confidence.
Learn More About Accessible Bathing Options
Whether you’re preparing your bathroom for aging parents, are planning to age in place yourself, or have limited mobility, creating a safe and accessible bathroom is one of the best investments you can make for your home. Transforming this historically dangerous area into one that’s safe, comfortable, and enjoyable can create the peace of mind you and your family members desire.
At MaxHome, we provide a range of one-day bathroom remodeling services, including walk-in tub installations and tub-to-shower conversions. To learn more about the services we provide, contact us today.