Senior Friendly Bathroom Designs
Who says functional has to mean mundane? When it comes to design, there are a number of ways you can incorporate both style and safety into one’s bathrooms. You can help seniors feel more independent by making the space functional, safe, and beautiful. Let’s take a look at some of the most common designs.
How to Make Bathrooms Stylish and Functional
Safety and ease of use should be your number one concern when you are starting a bathroom refresh or remodel – then you can sprinkle in a little style as you go.
For your bathroom makeover, start with the basic layout and think about any mobility aids that are needed to enter and exit the room. Add as much space as possible for wheelchairs, walkers, and canes. You may want to add accessibility devices such as mounted grab bars, bathtub rails, or bath steps to the room for safe stability.
Next you can start looking at the materials that are being used. You want the space to be easy to clean and disinfect, while still looking fresh and new. A non-slip tile is a must for flooring, and a bright and cheery paint colour is a great idea for the walls.
Let’s review the different elements of the bathroom and see what we can do to make sure the bathroom design is as fun and functional as possible.
Sink: To make sure the sink and faucet setup is ideal, look for a lever-style faucet instead of something that needs to be twisted. This will ensure easier operation for a senior that may have difficulty gripping. You can even look for hands-free, motion sensor options that turn themselves on as well, as well as motion sensor soap dispensers. No need to worry about accidentally leaving the water running!
Toilet: The best toilet choice for an older adult is a taller toilet with a bidet option. A tall toilet makes sitting and standing easier and the bidet allows for a more hygienic bathroom experience, especially for the person with mobility or flexibility challenges.
Shower: Some bathrooms are only equipped with a shower, so you’ll need to add a few things to make sure older adults can use the shower safely. A bench seat is necessary, along with handles on the walls or doors to access the seat with ease. A detachable showerhead is another important addition that will give the seniors the freedom to wash and rinse in a safe, seated position.
Bathtub: If you have the space for a bathtub, your best option is a walk-in bathtub with a small door and a raised seat. A walk-in bathtub has a very low threshold that requires just a small step-up compared to the height of traditional bathtubs. The user can sit and fill the tub to allow them to soak and use a spray attachment with ease.
Fun Fact: As part of your service at a Sifton Retirement Residence, you can enjoy a relaxing and refreshing spa like experience in a secure environment. You can bathe independently or have a full service bath with as much or as little assistance as you require.
Now that you’ve reviewed the major bathroom accessibility needs, you can start to consider the smaller details that might make the bathroom easier to use.
Lighting: Consider adding night lights, illuminated toilet seats or seats of a different colour than white to support those with decreased vision, or an accent wall on the wall that the toilet is on.
Storage: Many bathrooms have cupboards or drawers where items can be stored and these can be easily accessed for older adults. For the drawers, look for a soft-close drawer that will close itself slowly after being opened. Consider handles or levers rather than knobs for doors and drawers to allow for easier accessibility.
Clutter: Keep the clutter to a minimum and only leave out the things that are necessary and used often. Decorative things like potpourri displays, knick-knacks, candles or fancy soap are not necessary in your fresh new space. Less is more!
80% of falls in adults over the age of 65 happen in the bathroom. By creating a safe bathroom, you’re providing your loved one with the freedom to care for themselves with confidence.
In a Sifton Retirement Residence, every suite bathroom is designed with senior safety and wellness in mind. From accessible showers to open storage, we have thoughtfully designed and decorated these spaces to give both seniors and their loved one’s peace of mind.