5 Tips for Converting to an Accessible Bathroom

Nov 10, 2016
Stephen Bleeker

According to the National Institute of Aging (NIA), 80% of senior falls happen in the bathroom. With its slippery surfaces, the bathroom can be a hazardous place especially for those with mobility issues. Do you want to make the bathroom a safer space for Mom and Dad? Here are five tips for converting to an accessible bathroom.

1. Toilets

If Mom and Dad have mobility issues, muscle pain, or arthritis, it can be quite a challenge to sit down on a low toilet and stand up afterwards. Falls around the toilet are unfortunately quite common. A raised toilet seat means Mom and Dad don’t have to crouch down so far to use the toilet and handle bars make it easier to gently lower onto the seat. Grab bars on the wall next to the toilet also make it safer to get up and down.

2. Bath and Shower Safety

Falls are quite common when trying to get into or out of the bathtub, and even while using the shower. Install grab bars and rails to make it easier to enter and exit the bathtub. Place a non-slip bath mat on the floor of the bathtub for extra grip. A shower/bath seat can also make it easier to comfortably get clean with no risk of falling.

3. Flooring

Tripping or slipping on throw rugs is the number one cause of household falls. If you must have throw rugs in the bathroom, make sure they are secured in place with slip-resistant backing. Since water on the floor another common cause of floors, make sure to soak up the water after a shower. An in-home caregiver can provide light housekeeping services to keep the bathroom safe and clean.

4. Lighting

Falls are quite common when making your way to the bathroom at night or with low light. Add nightlights in the bedroom, hallway, and bathroom to illuminate a path. Install an illuminated switch and brighter bulbs in the bathroom to make sure vision is not an issue.

5. Bathroom Renovations

If Mom or Dad uses a wheelchair at home, there are many mobility renovations you can do to make the home more accessible. Renovations such as widening doors, installing a wheelchair-accessible rainfall shower, lowering countertops, and adding hands-free faucets are just a few examples.

Helpful tip: if budget is an issue and there are multiple bathrooms in the home, focus on converting the bathroom that is most often used by Mom and Dad and most convenient for them to access. Typically, this is the main bath closest to their bedroom. However, you may also want to make small adjustments to the powder room such as installing a raised toilet seat to simplify quick bathroom visits.

Mom and Dad deserve a bathroom that is safe and easy to use. If you have any other questions about making the bathroom more accessible, Assurance Home Care is happy to help. Simply call 613-706-1623 or contact us – we’re here for you!

–     Stephen Bleeker