Watching our parents age brings a new set of challenges and concerns. According to a survey conducted by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), nearly 90 percent of senior citizens prefer to reside in their own homes as they age for many reasons, mostly so they can live by their own rules. This raises the question, “How do we keep our parents safe in their homes while still allowing them to maintain their independence?” Their safety and well-being not only become a top priority, but we are faced with making decisions on how we can modify their homes to allow them to age in place safely.
Design experts and architects agree that mobility is one of the major challenges that senior citizens face (among a unique set of living standards) when it comes to making a home more accessible. They are creating spaces and designs that are stair-free, with larger hallways and floor plans that are more open. Wider doorways and designs with no-step entries are becoming more popular, and family members of aging parents are even opting for wireless video monitoring so that they can catch falls or any distress.
The bathroom of the home is where safety remodeling modifications are most frequently considered. It has been reported that falls are a leading cause of death in seniors ages 65 and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This factor has prompted homeowners and family members to take simple steps and adaptations to increase safety and livability.
Here are some safety modification suggestions to help keep your loved ones safe in their homes, while giving you peace of mind along the way:
- Safety Railings: Adding grab bars to your shower stall, bath tub and toilet area is an easy way to help prevent bathroom stumbles and falls. Grab bars help to assist in climbing in or out of these respective areas. Another great and functional idea you may want to consider is adding a bench or fold-down seat to the shower stall. A bench can provide the solution you were looking for to aid those who need to sit in the shower or for those requiring a bit more stability.
- No-slip Flooring: Replacing smooth and polished floors with heavier textured flooring will provide additional traction and help prevent slipping and sliding.
- Raise it Up: Replacing a standard toilet which is lower to the floor with a taller model that adds height can make getting up and down much easier. Increasing the height of vanities can also help eliminate the need to stoop or lean over sinks.
- Lighting: Adding additional lighting can brighten anyone’s day, especially for the older population who may be struggling with weaker vision. Check to see if the brightening of existing lighting is possible by using brighter bulbs. Consider replacing traditional light switches with rocker switches to help make turning lights on and off easier for those who suffer from arthritis.
- Tub-to-Shower Conversions: Modifying a tub shower lowers the typical 16-inch high bathtub and replaces it with a lower 6-inch shower threshold. This not only allows for easier accessibility, but creates a much wider and spacious bathing space.
We hope these important bathroom safety modification suggestions were helpful to you. Granite Transformations can help with the bathroom upgrades you may need to support your elder relatives. Check out our bathroom remodeling services and see if there’s a Granite Transformations in your area.