Bathrooms are one of the most valuable parts of any home. You use them all the time, and a great bathroom is amazing for quality of life. A bad bathroom is miserable.
The irony is that our bathroom needs change over the years, and as we grow older, things that used to be features can become annoying or even dangerous. If you’re looking at how to make a bathroom better for elderly family members or friends, there are some tub and shower renovations that can transform the experience.
Grab bars are often the first renovation that comes to mind when it comes to aiding with handicaps or reducing risks for the elderly. There are good reasons for that. A simple grab bar is enough for plenty of people to virtually eliminate the risk of slipping or falling in the shower. A sturdy grab bar provides ample support, and the bars need absolutely minimal maintenance. The installation is relatively minor (especially when compared to other ideas you’re about to read), which makes a grab bar quite accessible.
Typically speaking, shower valves are directly under the running water. In shower/bath combos, the valves can be fairly low. Reaching for them increases the risk of slipping. Aside from that, they can be slippery when wet and a nuisance to manage.
The shower valves can be relocated to sit in a more comfortable place and out of the flow of water. This makes it much easier to manage the shower, and it provides a customizable solution to an inconvenience (and potential danger) that plagues many bathrooms.
Converting the Shower
You don’t have to use a shower. Baths are perfectly acceptable, and converting a shower to a tub is a great way to improve accessibility and reduce risks. The tub can be customized to suit the homeowner, and it doesn’t have to be a traditional tub either. Shower chairs and alternative shower setups — for instance a Japanese-style shower — can make for an amazing change that improves quality of life.
Improving the Doors
Shower doors can be one of the worst parts of the arrangements. Sliding doors have a few design flaws that make them undesirable in this scenario. The sliding doors can stick and catch, making it harder to get in and out of the shower. More importantly, they have to run along a track, and it’s easy to trip over the track. Having to step over a track while standing on a wet shower floor is not the best way to go about this.
A simple switch to a push/pull door eliminates all of this. It can sit level with the floor, and any seal or stripping that may need to be applied can be made safe so that it isn’t a tripping hazard.
If you want to make a tub or shower more accessible and safer for elderly residents, there are plenty of ways to do it. Give us a call, and we can discuss your options and help you field a plan that will leave everyone happier.