Bathroom Remodeling for Senior Living
Several factors need consideration when remodeling for senior living to ensure that the space is safe, as well as attractive. Finish materials, plumbing fixtures and bathroom dimensions may need changing to accommodate disabilities or decreased mobility.
Nonslip Flooring – Select a textured floor finish to prevent slip and falls. If you choose to place rugs in a senior’s bathroom, be sure they are held in place with nonskid, double-sided tape.
Maneuvering Space – Walkers, canes and wheelchairs require more maneuvering space, so it may be necessary to enlarge small bathrooms. Consult the ADA Design Guidelines to ensure there is enough floor space to accommodate the turning radius for a wheelchair. Replace bathroom vanities with pedestal sinks or have the vanities open under the sink to accommodate wheelchairs. Also, bathroom entry ways should be 32 to 36 inches wide.
Grab Bars – Install grab bars on the wall by the toilet and in the bathtub area. Grab bars should be parallel to the floor, not diagonal. It’s also a good idea to add a vertical grab bar inside the bathing area. Be sure to install the bars at the appropriate height. Consult the ADA guidelines for recommendations.
Walk-in Showers and Bathtubs – Even with grab bars, some senior citizens may have trouble using traditional bathtubs. Consider replacing the bathtub with a walk-in shower or a walk-in bathtub. Some models even accommodate wheelchairs. Check the dimensions of the opening to be sure there is plenty of room for the senior to step in and out.
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