Future proof your bathroom to solve bathing problems
9th May 2018
In the family home, it is the bathroom that must work the hardest as it has to meet the needs of everyone, from young children to older grandparents and that can be quite tricky.
As we grow older it is important to future proof your bathroom to help solve any potential bathing problems that naturally come when we grow old.
It is therefore important to invest in planning for the future and making the bathroom an accessible and age-friendly one that is safe, hygienic and functional. Here are some great tips to future proof your bathroom.
Install a walk-in bath or shower
It is vital for older people to install an easy access shower or bath or shower as this will help people avoid over exerting themselves to get into a bath or shower that has not been adapted which may lead to slips, especially on wet surfaces.
There are a range of walk-in baths and showers on offer that have been designed to put the ease, comfort and independence back into showering and bathing.
A new accessible bath will mean older people can enjoy one of life’s great pleasure without having to worry about slipping over.
Towel Warming Drawer
A Towel Warming Drawer from Only Towel Warmers is another great option for older people to consider for their bathrooms.
A spokesperson from Only Towel Warmers explains why a towel warming drawer is helpful for people in older age.
“Often the elderly suffer from arthritis. A warm towel can help loosen stiff joints. They can also use a towel warmer to warm up their socks which will help with arthritis in the feet.
“The towel warmer drawers that we offer will hold 2 - 4 towels depending on the model you purchase. They get up to 140 - 160 degrees. It will operate for 2 hours before automatically shutting off.
“A towel warmer or a towel warmer drawer provides a spa-like experience. There is nothing like getting out of a hot shower and wrapping yourself in a warm towel.”
No touch flush
Older people that struggle to bend down would really benefit from a no-touch flush and there are lots of different products that are available.
There are products that boast a touch-free flush with built-in sensors that will alert users to any leaks. Many of these toilets even come with a lifetime limited chinaware warranty and a 5-year limited warranty on electronics and mechanical parts.
Installation for these toilets can take just 20-minutes, which is not long for a toilet that can really make a bathroom more accessible for people with mobility problems.
Install grab bars
Older people who struggle to get from a seated position to a standing position will benefit from double-duty grab bars as they will provide something for them to hold onto.
It is best to install one on the outside of the shower and on each interior wall so those with mobility problems can safely navigate the space. The grab bars can even double as towel or robe racks.
Shower speaker and alarm
A great piece of technology that is also worth considering when altering your bathroom is to buy a shower speaker.
This will make showering fun as shower speakers let people listen to their favourite music, news or radio station. Some wireless speakers can connect to Bluetooth-enabled devices to deliver high-quality audio to the shower.
While these showerheads play music they release water so people can enjoy a relaxing shower and the wireless speakers can even be taken out and used in any room of the house.
As well as the shower speaker it is worth adding an alarm to the bathroom as should an older person fall they can alert others that they need assistance.
Alarms such as an accessible disabled person’s toilet alarm kit allows a distressed person to pull a cord of a ceiling pull to activate a light and sounder outside of the toilet.
Make sure the bathroom is well lit
As we grow old our sight can deteriorate and this is why the bathroom needs to be well-lit as better lighting means less strain on an older persons eyes.
Good lighting can come in many forms, including recessed lighting, vanity lighting, lamps and natural light. The good lighting means that if there is any water on the floor bathroom users can spot it and avoid any accidents.
It is also worth considering putting lighting inside an enclosed shower to make sure that it is lit-up enough. Painting walls and skirting boards a different colour will also help older people who have visual impairments differentiate between other parts of the bathroom.
Put commonly used items in easy to reach areas
This might seem a simple tip, but it is a very important one as putting commonly used items like toothbrushes, hand soaps, towels and flannels in easy to reach areas can help older people who suffer from mobility problems.
This will avoid older people having to bend down or stretch to get items and therefore lessens the chances of them getting injured.
It is also important that there is not anything left lying around on the floor that could be a trip hazard.
Consider making the bathroom bigger
Bathrooms are the engine rooms of the home, but they are often the smallest rooms in the house. If they are too small then it is certainly worth considering making them bigger.
There are lots of bathroom specialists and builders available to suggest ways in which older people can make their bathrooms bigger.
This might be shifting or removing an internal wall or even making a slight extension to make the bathroom that little bit bigger.
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.