Remodeling a bathroom and adding some new fixtures, a shower enclosure, and maybe a new toilet can bring new life to the room - but what if you need it to be more accessible as well? Remodeling with safety and accessibility in mind does not mean the bathroom has to look or feel sterile or boring. A nice bathroom is possible while adding the features needed and the functionality required.
Shower Enclosures Versus Tubs
If your old bathroom had a tub in it, getting in and out of the tub over the front wall could be harder for an older adult. Replacing it with a standing shower enclosure that has an over-sized door opening can make a huge difference for your parent or grandparent. Add a shower bench in the enclosure if there is room so that they can sit down if necessary and glass doors on the front so that they are not dealing with the shower curtain, which could be a trip hazard as they get in and out of the shower. This will give your parent or grandparent some independence while keeping them safe at the same time.
Toilets and Grab Bars
Not everyone needs to have grab bars on the wall to get on and off the toilet but if you are remodeling for accessibility, adding some stylish grab bars is a great addition to the room. You can still buy the aluminum bars that you see in every hospital across the country but there are nicer options out there as well now. If you can get a bar that matches the decor, they might be less noticeable to most people and still offer the security of the bars when needed. Another option would be to put in a new toilet that has a higher seat on it than a traditional unit. This will make it easy to stand up from and could be an alternative to the bars for now. There are high efficient units on the market that will save water as well as be more accessible. You can't beat that.
Adjusting The Sink Heights
If you have a situation where the adult using the new bathroom has trouble bending, adjusting the sink and counter heights to them can be a huge advantage. The standard bathroom counter top is set between 31 and 36 inches from the floor but if you have an adult that is 6-foot 5-inches and can't bend very well, a 31 -inch high counter and sink will be very difficult for them to reach. If this is a bathroom that others in the house will use as well, you may need to install two sinks at different heights but there is nothing preventing you from installing one that is easy for your parent or grandparent to reach without pain or strain.
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