As we grow older, there are many things we need to do to future-proof our homes in the event of accidents or mishaps. The bathroom is perhaps one of the most important parts of the home to update for elderly members of your household. Up to 80% of falls occur in the bathroom. But even more important than having a safe bathroom is ensuring the shower meets certain standards. It needs to be accessible, spacious, slip-resistant, and comfortable. Whether you are looking to remodel an elderly family member’s bathroom or future-proof your home, you should incorporate several must-have elderly shower ideas into your bathroom.
Elderly Shower Ideas
As you age, a greater amount of space is more beneficial. This is due to the common use of canes, wheelchairs, walkers, and other assistive mobility devices. When it comes to your bathroom, you need a space that has enough room for these devices. Keep this in mind during your bathroom remodeling, especially when thinking of elderly shower ideas.
1. Curbless Showers
Most showers installed in homes have curbs, but this is not elderly-friendly. If you or your elderly family member has an assistive mobility device, a curbless shower will be required to ensure no accidents occur. Furthermore, this is a very visually appealing shower. Many homeowners are exchanging their tub and shower combos for walk-in showers.
When installing a curbless shower, there are several requirements for it to function properly. Without a 4- to 6-inch curb, gathering water needs a place to go without leaving the shower space, which means a slope needs to be created. Without a slope, running water can create a slipping hazard. It is recommended that the shower space is at least 20 square feet, creating enough space for a gradual slope that doesn’t create the risk of slipping.
The flooring you choose in your bathroom is crucial. In your shower, however, it is even more crucial. The bathroom should be free of slick walking surfaces for ultimate safety. Consider using anti-skid tile for the flooring in your shower. If you choose to keep a tub, coat the tub flooring with an anti-skid coating.
3. Grab Bars
Grab bars are probably one of the most pivotal elderly shower ideas to install during a bathroom remodel. Not only should they be installed in the shower, but they should also be installed near the toilet and in other parts of the home. Grab bars come in many different colors and materials, allowing you to install grab bars that are both visually appealing and accessible. Installing a brass grab bar in a warm, neutral-colored shower won’t be distracting or unappealing. When installing a grab bar, ensure the wall you install it on has bracing so the bar supports weight. Ideally, grab bars should be able to support 250-300 pounds.
4. Adjustable Shower Heads
Adjustable shower heads move and rotate to suit the height and position the user is in. Most showers have adjustable shower heads, but a fuller range of motion is more useful to elderly individuals, especially those with mobility difficulties. A must-have elderly shower idea is to combine it with a hand-held shower head.
5. Shower Seats
Elderly people often experience strain when using the shower, so why not add a shower seat? Showers take longer for elderly people, so adding a shower seat is one way to create comfort, shower safely, and lessen the chance of falling. Many shower seats exist, including shower stools, fold-up seats, and built-in seats. If you plan to put a seat in your shower, have the shower controls at a reasonable height and distance from the shower seat. Additionally, install shelving with shampoo and soap dispensers at the same level.
Other Elderly Shower Ideas
- Install lever handle faucets
- Have water pressure controls
- Have anti-scald controls
- Add a light in the shower
- No sharp edges; install rounded edges on countertops and other surfaces
- Make sure your grab bar is texturized for easy gripping
Reliable Bathroom Remodeling Experts
E & L Star Construction has years of experience delivering homeowners and business owners stylish, functional, and quality remodeling solutions in the Houston area. Whether you want to remodel a bathroom for yourself or an elderly family member, contact E & L Star Construction today.