Two Bathroom Remodeling Additions To Assist Seniors
If you are considering remodeling the bathroom on your home and have a senior relative living with you, then it may be best to choose options that are friendly to the elderly. Around 235,000 people are injured in the bathroom each year, and these injuries increase with age. Most injuries occur around the bathtub or shower and around the toilet as well. Thankfully, there are several different additions you can add to the room to reduce injury concerns.
Most tile, linoleum, and vinyl floors are slippery when wet, and even a well-placed area rug can slide across a slick surface once water spills on it. If you intend on ripping up the floor, then consider adding a textured or embossed slip-resistant flooring material to the bathroom. These types of floors typically have cellulose and fiberglass backings to resist wear and a vinyl layer that sits on top. Most of these heavy-duty embossed flooring options are made for commercial use, so contact a bathroom remodeling contractor to see if you can purchase this type of flooring from a professional who may have some left over from a large commercial business project. If you cannot find the flooring, then opt for a textured cushion vinyl flooring material. These floors are typically made for use in the kitchen.
If you do not have a large enough budget to completely revamp the floors in your bathroom, then add a special slip-resistant coating to the floor you already have. These coatings are epoxy, polyurethane, or polyurea coatings that contain a gritty sand, polymer, or aluminum oxide additive that helps to reduce slipping concerns.
Sometimes the gritty material is added directly to the coating, or you will need to spread it on top of the coating after rolling it on the floor. If you do decide on adding a coating to the bathroom, just make sure to purchase one that is meant for your type of flooring material or the coating may not stick. For example, epoxy will not stick to tile flooring materials unless it is prepared properly. This requires a great deal of sanding to remove the top coating from the tile. This will essentially ruin the floor, so choosing a coating that is not resin-based will be best.
Many elderly individuals fall when getting on and off the toilet. Toilet injuries account for a substantial percentage of senior injuries that occur in the bathroom. While an anti-slip floor can help to keep the feet secure as your relative sits down and gets back up, a tall toilet can make the act up sitting and standing much easier. Tall toilets are sometimes called comfort toilets, and they sit about two inches higher than a traditional toilet. Specifically, the toilets sit about 19 inches from the floor to the top of the seat.
When choosing a toilet, also go for one that has a round front instead of an elongated front. This bowl shape is shorter so your loved one will not have to sit back as far. Elevated toilet seats with removable padded arms are a good idea too.
When you install the new tall toilet, add a grab bar to the wall near the toilet as well. An angled grab bar with a textured surface placed at about waist level is best. However, you will need to make sure that you anchor the bar properly. If the wall near the toilet contains wooden studs, then place the screws that come with the bar into these studs. If the wall is concrete, then you will need to place plastic plug anchors around the screws. Toggle bolts will need to be used if the wall is hollow, and special anchoring hardware will be needed if a solid wall is recessed behind a fiberglass enclosure or other thin wall structure. Make sure to investigate the wall and purchase the correct anchor to ensure the safety and security of the bar.