Making Bathrooms More Accessible
By David Slater, Ability Beyond’s Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS)
Did you know that nearly 80 percent of falls in the home happen in the bathroom?
As a certified aging in place specialist with Ability Beyond, I know that bathrooms can certainly the most dangerous room in a house, especially for seniors or those living with disabilities. That’s why it’s crucial for people with limitations to carefully evaluate their bathrooms for fall risks, potential hazards, and ways to make your bathroom set up more user-friendly.
Here are my top ten tips for making your bathroom accessible:
- Remove bathroom floor rugs, which can pose a serious tripping hazard.
- Replace toilets with an ADA compliant 17 inch tall toilet.
- Replace decorative towel bars with firmly mounted grab bars that are installed by a professional and mounted into a stud or a suitable wall anchor rated to hold 600 lb.s of force.
- Declutter all bathroom surfaces.
- Use a bath/shower mat at all times to reduce slipping hazards.
- Remove tubs and replace with zero transition shower stalls for ease of use and to reduce falling hazards.
- Install smart bathroom fan switches with timers that will keep the fan on until all moisture is exhausted from the room.
- Consider installing ADA-compliant sink and shower faucets for ease of use.
- Install a fixed and adjustable hand held shower control valve assembly.
- Consider open decorative wire shelving without a closet door in order to eliminate the obstacle of opening and reaching into a closet for towels or frequently used toiletries.