Thursday, March 5, 2015

Aging in Place: Bathroom Renovations to Improve Safety

Aging in place can be a great way to stay in the comfort your own Asheville home as you get older and enjoy the things you’ve always known. But it is important to keep in mind your changing needs and make modifications around the home to accommodate them. The bathroom is one room that can pose many safety risks for seniors. However, with a variety of renovations, you can make it a safer, more accessible space.

  • Add grab bars: This can be a simple way to add increased stability options. Placing grab bars near the shower and toilet will give your senior something to hold on to as they change positions and reduce risk of falling.
  • Raise the toilet height: There are two ways that you can accomplish this. One would be to install a new toilet that sits higher so that your senior does not have to bend down as far to sit. Another option would be to add a seat extender that sits on top of the existing seat to provide a raised surface. You may also want to consider adjusting the location of the toilet paper holder for easier access.
  • Replace the bathtub: Stepping over the edge of the bathtub can become difficult with aging and result in loss of balance or slipping and falling. Getting a tub with shorter curb or one that allows for easier access can reduce risk. A shower seat or bench can also be beneficial to give your senior somewhere to sit while in the shower.
  • Change the showerhead: An adjustable or handheld showerhead can improve accessibility and convenience. It will reduce the need for stretching or reaching and can be used at a comfortable height.
  • Use slip-resistant flooring: Water from the shower as well as steam can make floors slippery. Install slip-resistant flooring to improve traction and consider a mat for on the bottom of the bathtub or shower as well.
  • Increase accessibility: Make sure that supplies are kept in a convenient place that is easy to reach. Shower caddies, shelves, baskets, towel bars, and other accessories can all be valuable bathroom additions. You may need to do some rearranging to make things more convenient.

Planning ahead can allow you to make changes slowly before they are necessary. When replacing fixtures, think about the future and what would be most beneficial. Safety and accessibility are two things to consider when deciding to age in place and making necessary renovations. Elder care services through Always Best Care of Asheville-Hendersonville can also provide a qualified caregiver to assist with basic personal care needs. Through in-home care, your senior can maintain their independence while receiving the appropriate level of support to ensure safety and wellbeing. To schedule a free consultation, call (828) 989-7263 or visit for more information.

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