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5 Simple Ways To Make Bathrooms More Senior Friendly

April 16, 2013 Jeff APHM Featured

Accessible shower ADA elderly home safety modification

5 Simple ways to make bathrooms more Senior Friendly


I’ve met with several clients here in Los Angeles, CA who confess to me that they only called after an accident has happened, and that they wished they had done the home safety modifications they had put off a lot sooner. Bathrooms are the most used space inside the house and it is also the most dangerous one. The top causes of accidents are slippery floors, shower thresholds and falls. 

Find out by clicking ahead, five simple safety steps to make your bathroom more Senior-friendly in Los Angeles. 




Based on Paula Spencer Scott‘s, “ More Surprising way to make a bathroom safer”


1. Install grab bars

 Installing grab bars next to the toilet and near or in the bathtub and shower  to give anyone added support.

But avoid this common mistake:  Hiring a certified grab bar installer  is the safest route to add grab bars at your bathroom. They can recommend the right type of grab bar customized for your needs and capability.  A slipping adult who reaches for a bar on the wall is going to exert a lot of body weight on that bar. If it’s poorly anchored to the wall and not properly positioned, the person will continue to fall and possibly injure an arm, too.


2. Take Off Shower Stall Threshold

Many old  homes have shower stall that has thresholds to prevent water from spilling to the whole bathroom floor. This structure are the main culprit of most fall inside the shower stall. If possible reduce the height of the threshold or totally remove it making your shower threshold free.

But avoid this common mistake: A level platform area around the shower is better. It’s also wise to avoid a curb at the point of the walk-in entrance. The most efficient design for shower stall is that it can accommodate a wheel chair.


3. Avoid Locking The Door

Most of the time bathroom is assciciated with privacy ,but it can come at a price. In the event of an accident such as a fall or a medical crisis, you or a loved one might not be able to exit the bathroom. If the door is locked, help can’t get in, either . This problem can happen to anyone of any age; older adults, who have more chronic illnesses and more problems with balance, are especially vulnerable.

 But avoid this common mistake: Don’t overlook safety regarding the door to the shower. While shower doors don’t lock, they can be blocked if the person in the shower collapses and it’s a door that opens in to the shower, as opposed to out into the room. Shower doors should always open out to the room.


4. Regulate The Temperature For Vulnerable Skin

 Hot shower is the way to go on cold season. But on younger and older bodies with thinner skin, hot water can become much too hot very quickly.  Below 120 degrees is a safer setting. The National Kitchen and Bath Builders Association recommends installing pressure-balanced and temperature-controlled valves in the bath and shower to help prevent scalding.

 But avoid this common mistake: Don’t ignore what the temperature controls look like. Knob-style fixtures add to the scalding danger. Better: lever-style fixtures. Often accidents occur because users can’t manage to turn off the water if they lack a strong grip.


5. Make The Commode The Right Size

 Older adults often begin to have mobility issues relating to arthritis and other conditions, or problems with hips, knees, or back. Stooping low to sit on many standard-model 15- to 17-inch commodes can be a challenge. Two simple fixes are molded plastic seats that raise the seat as many as four inches, or adjustable seats that attach to an existing seat or replace your old toilet with a higher ADA standard toilet.

 But avoid this common mistake: Know that a tall toilet isn’t right for everyone just because of age or condition. A small woman, for example, may feel insecure sitting on one where her feet barely touch the ground. That presents a falling hazard. Also, if you use an adjustable seat, be sure to attach it securely. One that slips can lead to a dangerous fall.


 Do you have questions or concerns regarding upgrading or making your home safer for yourself or your parent’s home as they grow older? Give us a call or email, mention our Blog online and we’ll give you friendly advice on your next project. We are a licensed senior home safety modification specialist. You can reach us at (855) 924-7663. We’re located in the heart of Southern California in sunny Los Angeles. 




(855) 924-7663



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