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Bathroom Conversion for Senior Citizens

Most seniors wish to stay in their home for as long as possible.  This is known as aging in place, and it is the ability to live in one’s own home safely, comfortably and independently.  Installing the necessary bathroom equipment, or converting your bathroom to one that is "senior-friendly", can help prevent a dangerous fall on the wet floor.  Walk-in tubs, shower to tub conversion, anti-slip floors, grab bars, and raised toilet seats are just several of many products designed to keep seniors up on the their feet and out of the emergency room. 

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Strategies to Making Your Bathroom More "Senior-Friendly"

As seniors age, it becomes more difficult for them to move around. It is fantastic luck if the bathroom and all other necessary rooms senior are on one floor.  If they are not, and the senior has to travel up or down stairs to reach an accommodating bathroom, it may worth considering having a ground floor bathroom put in. Another option is to get a stair lift to make ascending and descending stairs less of a burden.  Here are several strategies to make your bathroom more "senior-friendly"

Walk In Tubs / Tub to Shower Conversion 

There are many different ways to make bathtubs and showers, not only safer for seniors, but also more convenient.  Installing walk-in tubs and roll-in showers are a good options for seniors because they make getting in and out of the bath easier and reduce the risk of a fall.  Adjustable showerheads are another accommodation worth considering.  Finally, having control over the water pressure and an anti-scald device make bathing safer and more pleasurable.

Make Space for Walkers and Canes

Seniors often need assistance moving about the bathroom.  When remodeling the bathroom, keep in mind that the senior may need a walker, cane, or wheelchair to navigate the lavatory.  This means there must be ample room to maneuver within the bathroom.  Even if the senior does not currently need the space, it is better to remodel once, as opposed to multiple times.

Grab Bars in Shower/Bath/Toilet

Grab bars are useful for seniors in many different places throughout the bathroom.  They help the senior easily sit down and get up from the toilet.  They are also useful for getting in and out of the bathtub.  Grab bars are also useful in the shower, as they help seniors maneuver, not slip, and rest while bathing.  Many seniors even install grab bars throughout the whole house. So do not think grab bars are limited to the bathroom, even though that is where they are most common.

Raised Toilet Seats

Many people do not think of this, but the height of a toilet is very important for seniors.  Most toilets are too low for them.  The higher toilets are easier on their knees.  Although many supply stores offer height-extenders to go on top of the bowl, we recommend investing in a high-toilet.  These are far superior and safe, albeit cost a bit more upfront.  Another thing to consider when remodeling around the toilet, is to make sure the toilet paper dispenser is easily accessible from a resting position on the seat.  Some seniors even install a bidet to help with cleaning. 

Re-leveling the Sink 

Depending on the senior, a new sink may also help a lot.  Getting the sink at the right level, having it accessible for a wheelchair, or even installing floor pedals for elders with arthritis, are some of the many options to make using the sink easier.

Anti-Slip Floors 

It may seem obvious, but the floor should also be anti-slip.  There are many different types of anti-slip materials, and it is best to find one that they like.  Also, consider getting rid of excess rugs or towels on the floor. If it is important to keep a specific rug, there are tapes and other adhesives that will secure rugs firmly to the ground.

Cost of Bathroom Conversion for Seniors

The cost of renovating a bathroom for a senior depends on how extensive the remodeling is.  It is difficult to give an average price, because bathroom renovations are so uniquely tailored to each specific senior.  The price range typically goes from $2,500 to $20,000, with an average of around $10,000.  This may seem like a lot of money at first, but the point is for the senior to comfortably age in place.  Many seniors either own their own home, or are close to owning it.  By renovating and staying home, they actually do save money.  Plus, is there really a cost to staying healthy and safe?

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