How to Make Your Aging Senior’s Bathroom More Safe

As your loved ones age, they may prefer to remain in their own home, where they are comfortable and are surrounded by familiar scenery, and they may not want to move to an assisted-living home. When you are not able to provide your loved one the safety and attention they can have in an assisted-living home, you can use these tips to help you convert your aging senior's bathroom.

Convert the Toilet

By adjusting the toilet height, you can make it safer for an aging senior to get on and off the seat without injuring themselves due to slipping and falling. A standard toilet seat sits at a height of 17 to 19 inches, and it can be hard for an elderly person to squat to sit themselves on the seat. To raise the toilet seat's height, you can remove the standard-height toilet and install a new toilet with a taller pedestal to raise the height of the seat's position. Then, to supplement this alteration, it is best to install grab bars around the toilet to aid your senior with using the toilet.

Or, as a second option, you can install a toilet seat riser, which attaches onto the top rim of a standard-height toilet. The riser mounts onto the rim of the toilet seat, adding several inches of height to provide stability and eliminate excessive bending and squatting when your senior uses the toilet. Then, many of these toilet-seat risers come with arms on either side in place of grab bars to aid your aging senior in climbing on and off the toilet. 

Install Grab Bars

Grab bars in your bathroom can help keep your elderly loved one from falling when using the toilet facilities. To install grab bars around your toilet, you should follow the ADA's recommendations for installation to make the bars as accessible as possible. The ADA recommends you install a grab bar on the wall behind and on the side of a toilet at a height of 33 to 36 inches. Then, the grab bar installed behind the toilet should be at least 36 inches long. The grab bar installed on the wall to the side of the toilet should be at least 42 inches long. 

It is a good idea to install the grab bar's attachments into studs behind the bathroom wall. This is to help anchor the bars to support the weight of someone using them for assistance. An electronic stud finder, which you can buy at most home-improvement stores, will help you locate studs in your bathroom walls. 

Use these tips to make your senior's bathroom more accommodating for their needs.