Bathroom Upgrades for Seniors

By Robert D. Liken CPC, CTS, President

June 8, 2017

Home Care in Beaver PA: Bathroom Upgrades for Seniors
Home Care in Beaver PA: Bathroom Upgrades for Seniors

When it comes to living independently at home, few rooms present as much challenge to aging loved ones as the bathroom. Family caregivers and home care aides are likely to spend a lot of time with the senior in the bathroom as they assist with grooming and hygiene tasks. There are several bathroom upgrades that caregivers can make to make things easier for everyone, and they don’t have to cost a fortune to implement.
Getting up and down from a toilet is one of the more difficult tasks for aging joints and weaker muscles, so making modifications is definitely a must. Options include replacing the existing toilet with one that is taller and there are several varieties to choose from. Another option is putting in a seat extender, which fits over the existing toilet and raises the seat up.
Bath and Shower Seats
Because standing on a slippery surface is so treacherous for seniors, it’s a good idea to include a bath seat or shower seat for stability. For shower/tub combos, there are bath stools with adjustable legs, bath safety benches, and even swiveling and sliding seats that help them get positioned just right.
Shower Heads and Faucets
Adjustable shower heads can position the water to the height that is best for the senior, whether they are sitting or standing. Hand-held shower heads mounted on a flexible hose provide the best coverage for seniors so they don’t have to move around as much. Lever handle faucets in the shower are much easier for seniors to control with one hand than dual faucets—that way, one hand can grip a support bar while the other adjusts the water as needed.
Support Bars
Installing support bars around the bathroom is the best way to provide stability and boost safety for an aging loved one. With a range of styles and sizes, support bars can be put in by the toilet, in the shower, and outside the tub for maximum value. There are support bars that can be fitted to every size and space, so seniors, family caregivers and home care aides can figure out where the most support is needed and install them accordingly.
Bathtubs and Showers
Perhaps the most dangerous place for seniors in the bathroom is the tub and shower area. That’s because of the slippery nature of tile and linoleum and the physical maneuvering that the elderly have to do to get clean. A traditional shower-tub combo is difficult for seniors to step into and often doesn’t provide much support or safety. Instead, modifications can be made to ensure comfort and convenience. Examples include remodeling a shower-bath combo to become a walk-in shower with a low threshold. Walk-in tubs are also growing in popularity because they have doors that open and close, plus a built-in seat.
Non-slip Flooring
A temporary solution to prevent slip and fall accidents in the bathroom is non-slip bath mats and rugs wherever the flooring can get wet or damp. Inside the shower or tub, there are non-slip tub mats, textured adhesive stickers and even an anti-slip bathtub coating that keeps the original look but provides a rougher texture that is safer to stand on. For a complete bathroom remodel, there are several non-slip tile options that can be installed.

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Beaver, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Liken Home Care.  Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551