Senior Bathroom Remodeling Ideas
Considering taking on a senior bathroom remodeling project? While any remodeling project can be complex, planning for a bathroom that can support you as you age could be well worth the effort. And it’s better to think about a handicap accessible bathroom before you actually need one. Here are a few ideas for how to make your bathroom into a more accessible senior bathroom for your family or yourself.
Even if your senior bathroom remodeling project doesn’t involve an extensive overhaul, you’ll probably want to put a walk-in shower first on your list. For seniors, walk-in showers that have either no barrier, or only a small barrier to step over, can hugely simplify life. Walk-in showers for seniors are particularly helpful since the area where you step in is typically wet. The combination of a slippery wet floor and an unsteady step are a quick recipe for disaster.
Showers also present smaller areas where a loved one might slip and be more prone to hitting their head on a wall nearby. Or even the toilet. For all of these reasons, walk-in showers for seniors should be one of your first considerations on a senior bathroom remodeling project.
There are more than just walk-in showers to consider for your senior bathroom remodeling project. Creating a handicap accessible bathroom could also be smart, if you have the space. Here are a few of the spaces you will want to consider making handicap accessible during your remodel.
Depending on who your senior bathroom remodeling project is for, you’ll want to consider how much space you allow for in entryways. This includes the doorway and the entry into the shower. A width of 32 to 48 inches should be wide enough to accommodate most wheelchairs. A walker might require slightly less space. Even if you don’t foresee a need for either a wheelchair or walker, this little bit of extra space can also make you feel more comfortable and less claustrophobic.
You’ll also want to consider the height of your counters for a senior handicap accessible bathroom remodeling project. The typical height of a wheelchair armrest is about 29 inches. With this in mind, it’s recommended that the ideal countertop height for a person using a wheelchair is a minimum of 28 inches and no higher than 34 inches. A lower counter height can also be a great additive if you want to include a vanity space within your current countertop layout.
The Americans With Disabilities Act requires toilets installed inside public handicap stalls to have a toilet seat height between 17-19 inches, measured from the floor to the top of the toilet seat. On the plus side, taller toilets aren’t just for handicap accessible bathrooms. They are also good for most folks in general since it requires less distance to sit down and provides an easier time to stand back up.
Curious about what features new home builders offer for 55 and over communities? All Del Webb homes include an Owner’s Bath. These ensuite bathrooms offer spa-like touches, such as rainfall showerheads or benches. Some also offer separate bathtubs and showers as well as dual vanities. You’ll even find models that also offer the option of a zero entry shower for your convenience.
Planning a senior bathroom remodeling project can be a lot to take on—but having a handicap accessible bathroom when you or a loved one needs access to a walk-in shower, lower counters or more can make a big difference in your overall quality of life.
Contributed to The 55+ Society
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