More often than not, functionality and bathrooms are not intertwined. In most home builds, the age of a tenant or owner is not considered in the design or layout of a bathroom. There is a modern bathroom standard, and unfortunately, these standards aren’t always the safest for aging adults. Following our recommendations will put you or your senior’s mind at ease, and will limit the chances of an injury.
Did you know that one in four adults over 65 falls each year? According to the National Council on Aging, most of these falls occur in the bathroom. How crazy is that?! Sadly, this is a result of the functionality of their shower due to slippery floors, a tall threshold or step into the shower, the standard bath-shower combo, and narrow shower door openings. This is alarming considering that prevention and safety are our number one priority when remodeling a bathroom. The National Council on Aging has provided us with useful information that has led our team at Valley Remodeling to share with you three ways you can transform your shower
to support aging adults. Just remember, one simple shower remodel can prevent a fall and save a life.
Surprisingly, there are a lot of options when selecting a walk-in bathtub/shower that is functional for aging adults. Although, selecting a walk-in tub is not as eye-catching, they are extremely safe, comfortable, and effective for those who need it.
I’m here to break the good news! Did you know most walk-in tubs include therapeutic features? This is an awesome bonus and a feature you will not find in a standard tub. Here is a quick list of some of the features a walk-in tub may have:
● Hydrotherapy Jets
● Deep Soaking Tub
● Advanced Safety Features
● Outward Opening Doors
Most walk-in tubs come fully packaged as one product. This makes installments easy and affordable. Most seniors are unable to perform “everyday” tasks, let alone a remodeling project. With the help of skilled professionals, the installment of a walk-in tub will get done efficiently with every safety precaution taken to prevent further issues. Transforming your current shower/tub or assisting a senior in that direction can be critical to preventing injury and ensuring safety.
Showers no longer have to be a scary place for aging adults. Creating an open shower allows accessible space for seniors that is safe and manageable for their mobility needs. Whether the elderly uses a wheelchair or is impaired, an open concept offers an immense amount of space for a care-free relaxing shower experience. Unfortunately, most injuries and falls that happen in a seniors bathroom are due to improperly getting in or out of their shower. This is often caused by a tall threshold for a person to step over. Transforming a standard shower or tub into an open concept shower eliminates this risk. This also allows wheelchair accessibility or grants you the option to create a bench for those who prefer to sit in the shower. A project like this can be costly, however, you are paying for safety and potentially eliminating a hospital bill. For those who cannot remodel their shower into an open design, here are a few steps to ensure you are properly getting in and out of your bathtub. This is useful information to
share with elders you may know:
● Always start from a sitting position on the floor of the bathtub
● Make sure your hands are as dry as possible
● Grab the edge of the bathtub and pull yourself towards the edge
● Push yourself onto your knees while holding onto the edge and continue to slowly rise until you are standing
● Life one leg at a time slowly over the threshold while continuing to have a grasp on the edges.
● It is important to instill safety measures outside of the tub to prevent a slip or fall by adding a non-slip mat to step onto while exiting the shower or tub.
1. Non-Slip Shower Floors
An extremely helpful way to prevent falling in the bathroom is to have the correct flooring that supports water drops or puddles. When a senior gets out of the shower safely, they can still risk the chance of slipping on a wet floor afterward. In this case, non-slip bathroom flooring deserves special attention and consideration. It is impossible to prevent water on the floor after taking a bath or shower. However, it is not unfeasible to install a floor that is non-slip to avert a fall in the first place. It is ideal when transforming a shower specifically for seniors or aging adults that a non-slippery floor is installed properly. Here are our top recommendations for making a bathroom less slippery:
● Natural stone tiles are one of the best choices for non-slip bathroom flooring. Not only are they durable and aesthetically pleasing. They can also be texturized to ensure a safe grip and prevent falling. The only downside to choosing natural stone tile is the cost. However, the cost most definitely outways the risk.
● Bamboo or Cork Flooring can reduce the risk of slipping or falling because they tend to absorb moisture. Choosing bamboo or cork flooring for your bathroom transformation can be a great option for preventing an accident. However, it is important to keep in mind the possibility of mold growth in the flooring of this material. Choosing to hire a professional contractor to install this type of flooring is highly advised, they can ensure proper ventilation to prevent moisture buildup.
● Porcelain/Ceramic Tiles are another excellent option for a non- slippery bathroom floor. Not only are porcelain and ceramic tiles aesthetically pleasing, but they are also affordable. Most standard porcelain and ceramic tiles can be slippery due to their smooth
surface. To avoid this, we recommend choosing a ceramic or porcelain tile designed with a nanostructured surface. A nanostructured surface is a great non-slip option that is comfortable to walk on but also guarantees a textured surface for a good foot grip.
A Shower Should Never Be A Scary Place!
A slippery floor, tall thresholds, and inaccessible shower/bathtub can all be risky for the elderly and increase the risk of injury or fatal accidents. The best option for preventing a tragedy of his sort is to educate yourself on the risk factors. Our team is dedicated to ensuring the safety and well-being of our bathroom renovation projects. It is our top priority to inspire those who are
aging to take the proper steps needed to stay safe and comfortable in their own home.
Call Us Today!
If you are interested in transforming your bathroom to properly support your age or someone you may know, call us today for a free quote!