The bathroom can be a difficult room for many seniors. Getting in or out of the tub or shower might seem like an easy task, but bathtubs can be painfully low or the sides can be too high for someone to easily lift their leg and step in. That’s why, if you’re planning to age in place, there are a few plumbing upgrades in Toronto to improve your bathroom and to make it a safer environment – now that’s definitely a good idea.
Here are a bunch of options for you to make your bathroom safe and accessible:
#1: Grab Bars
Grab bars can make life so much easier and safer. You can get grab bars for different areas in a bathroom, such as right beside the bathtub. If you’re not sure where to put them, look for the place that you would normally hold onto to do whatever you need to do. Being able to grab onto a secure bar while stepping into the tub or shower is not only safer but allows for independence. You can install the grab bars in the showers, beside the toilet and just outside the bath/shower. They are great for seniors with good upper-body strength who are capable of holding onto the bars while showering or bathing. It’s important to get bars that have a grip surface, are a contrasting color for easy visibility and of course, make sure it’s securely fixed into studs to be able to support the weight.
#2: Shower Chair
A shower chair might seem like a simplistic solution but consider the benefits. Slips and falls in the shower can cause serious injury. It’s easy to break an arm or even a hip, not to mention the dangerous head injuries you could sustain. A shower chair is a great way to provide stability for anyone who has balancing challenges, and it also provides a safe spot for you to rest if you struggle to stand for long periods of time. Make sure to get a shower chair with rubber tips on the legs, which will help to prevent it from slipping on the bathtub surface. Most chairs are adjustable to ensure you can set it to the right height for the user.
#3: Non-Slip Mats
Chances are, you probably already have a non-slip mat in your bathroom, but just in case, it’s a good idea to get a few. It’s super easy to fall while getting in or out of the tub/shower. Purchase a good quality non-slip mat or decals (you can get fun fish ones!) on the floor of both the shower and the bathroom floor is just good sense. It’s a great way to feel stable and reduce the chances of slipping. Be sure to get mats that have rubber on the underside, as cloth mats will easily slide. You can even look into adding non-slip strips of adhesive to your bathtub or the floor surface.
#4: Raised Toilet Seats
Many seniors experience difficulty getting down onto a low toilet—and getting back up again! While you’re looking plumbing upgrades in Toronto, it’s a good idea to look into getting raised toilet seats or even a high-rise toilet. Finding licensed plumbers Toronto residents can trust to install a raised toilet seat is not a difficult task. Raising the seat by just a few inches can significantly reduce the amount of squatting and therefore, make it safer and more comfortable.
#5: Make Toiletries Accessible
The last thing you need to seriously consider when you’re updating your bathroom is to make sure that you have everything easily accessible for where you need it. Make sure your shower has shelves or easy accessed shampoo and soap. Bending down to pick something up easy an easy way to slip.
Aging in place is about more than the plumbing upgrade, however. Look for ways to make your home more comfortable for your senior years before it becomes too challenging.