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Bathroom Safety & Accessibility Tips For Seniors

Bathroom, General Expertise
By on Sep 17, 2017
Bathroom Safety & Accessibility Tips For Seniors

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While there is plenty of talk about millennials entering the housing market, you might have missed the news that current homeowners are thinking more frequently about gaining in place. Remodeling trends have pointed to more and more homeowners looking for accessibility benefits included in their new spaces, particularly in the bathroom.

According to the National Association Of Home Builders, there’s a 15% increase in bathrooms on the first floor compared to 10 years ago. This is a major feature that families who intend on staying in their current floor look for as they get older. But, have you considered what features you may need in your bathroom to make it safe for aging? If you’re planning a bathroom remodel with improved accessibility features, here are a few tips you can use.

Increasing the ease of access and safety in your bathroom might not be a DIY project. You’ll want it done right. Contact a bathroom remodeling pro today for up to four quotes from pros in your area, for free.

Why Choose Accessible Bathrooms

Why Homeowners Are Choosing Accessible Bathrooms

Whether you or a loved one is considering a remodel to age in place, it’s a good thing to know that others are as well. Homeowners are looking to become more accommodating and safe for all ages; this includes accessibility upgrades. In a report from HomeAdvisor, 61% of homeowners over the age of 55 intend to live in their homes indefinitely. Additionally, homebuyers are looking at homes with these features, so remodeling a bathroom for accessibility and safety can have ROI benefits if you're intending to sell.

Bathrooms are a point of focus for those looking at accessibility changes. After all, there are many ways an accident can occur in this room. Here are a few safety features you can add:

  • Bathroom Grab Bars
  • Raised Toilet Seat
  • Walk-In Tub
  • Seated Shower
  • Non-Slip Mats
  • Widen Doorways
  • Incorporating Home Automation

Bathroom Safety Bars

One of the most highly requested items in accessibility are bathroom safety grab bars. As slips and falls can happen on wet surfaces, grab bars are helpful features for any bathroom. However, most of us are familiar with large, metal bars that will certainly stand out and clash with décor. While those still exist, there are countless options for grab bars to match your décor and create a seamless look. Some grab bars can be installed yourself or by a pro. They should be placed where you think they’ll be needed most. In the shower and by the toilet are popular areas of grab bar assistance.

Elevated Toilet Seat

Family members with accessibility needs will be grateful for a raised toilet seat. This takes the pressure of off joints and lower back when using the facilities. Raised toilet seats can be used on your current toilet and are extremely cost effective. Most are around $40 to $50. Even if you’re not planning a full bathroom remodel, this is an accessibility benefit that’s easy to include.

Walk In Tub And Seated Shower

Walk-In Tub & Seated Shower

The tub and shower area can cause considerable concern for seniors. Some bathtubs are tall and difficult to climb over. Installing a walk-in bathtub can make all the difference. Instead of climbing over a bathtub wall, there’s a door that keeps water out but lets you step in easily. A seat in the shower can also assist in safety, allowing for the user to sit as needed.

Non-Slip Bathroom Mats

As I mentioned previously, the bathroom creates an environment for falls. Placing non-slip bathroom mats in frequently used areas of the bathroom is a budget-friendly upgrade that can make a difference. Additionally, there are many styles that can match your current décor.

Widen Doorways

If you’re planning a complete bathroom remodel to improve accessibility and accommodate aging in place, widening your doorways can surely help down the road. This will allow for wheelchairs and walkers to enter the bathroom without hindrance. You’ll likely need to replace the door as well and a pocket door is a space-saving and safe choice. It rolls into the wall, so there’s no obstacle in or out of the bathroom.

Adding Home Automation

Adding Home Automation

You may not have considered it yet, but home automation can help improve accessibility features in every room, including the bathroom. Increased lighting in the bathroom is a need for many seniors. Some home automation systems are designed to increase the lighting when needed and turn off when the bathroom is no longer in use. Digital bathroom shower control can get the shower temperature to “just right,” without having to bend over and turn multiple handles.

While these features and other home automation systems are an investment, they’ll provide homeowners and family members with peace-of-mind and a safer space.

Costs Of Accessibility Remodeling

Costs Of Accessibility Remodeling

So you might be convinced that remodeling for accessibility is the right thing to help you or a loved one age in place. Or, maybe you simply want to increase the value of your home. When planning for a bathroom remodel, specifically to improve accessibility, it’s important to know the investment you’re making. The average cost to remodel a bathroom is $8,820, with most homeowners spending between $6,569 and $9,872. Don’t forget to account for the cost of the safety features you’ll be adding as well.


Thinking ahead is important for any homeowner. As research shows, it seems to be what many are thinking about right now. From a full bathroom accessibility makeover to making a few simple changes, these are steps to create a safer bathroom for everyone.

Looking for more ways to improve accessibility in your home? Read Wheelchair Accessible Home Modifications.

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