Bath Remodels For Seniors

Do you or an elderly loved one have difficulty bathing or showering? Learn which senior-friendly bath remodels are available and how to afford them.

There are many reasons you may want to redesign your bathroom with seniors in mind. Perhaps you are a senior yourself. Alternatively, you might want to redesign the bathroom in the home of a senior parent. You may even want to make your home more welcoming to senior guests, even if there are no senior residents in your house. Regardless of your reasons, a senior-friendly bathroom remodel is an excellent idea. Even younger family members and visitors can benefit from better ease of use in the bathroom.

These days, there are many bath remodeling options. Deciding to do a remodel is not enough. You must choose to make small changes or do a complete remodel. Picking the options that work best for the needs in your household is vital. However, you also have to balance budget concerns with practical ones. Here are some possible remodeling ideas, cost considerations, and ways to save on senior bathroom remodels.

Why Are Bathroom Remodels for Seniors Important?

As people age, their fall risks increase. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over 300,000 older hip fracture victims are seen in U.S. hospitals annually. Over 95 percent are there due to falls. Not every senior who falls does so in the bathroom. However, falls in bathrooms are quite common. There are several issues that make seniors more susceptible to bathroom falls. They include:

  • Presence of Slippery Floors and Tub or Shower Surfaces

  • Balance Problems Associated with Illness or Aging

  • Development of Arthritis or Joint Problems

  • Vision Problems Associated With Aging

  • Vitamin Deficiencies Causing Instability

  • Tripping Hazards Like Certain Bulkier Bath Mats

What Are Common Small Bathroom Remodels for Seniors?

The type of bathroom remodel required for you or your senior loved one depends on the situation. Some simple small bathroom remodeling changes may suffice. Some of those changes may even only involve a few cosmetic alterations, as opposed to replacing large fixtures. For example, wet hands and a round doorknob is a bad combination. Switching to a level handle reduces the chances of a senior falling when exiting the bathroom after a bath or shower.

Another small change you can make to upgrade a bathroom for senior use that is fairly easy is switching to a different type of toilet. Many toilets today are designed specifically with senior needs in mind. Senior toilets are typically taller. They are also sometimes equipped with “safety frames” that resemble walker legs on either side. Those give seniors something stable to grip when sitting or standing. Additionally, many senior toilets are now made to be environmentally friendly and have low water use flush options. More common small bathroom changes you can make for seniors include:

  • Get floor mats with rubber or non-stick backing.

  • Install no-slip strips in tubs or showers.

  • Purchase LED night lights to make bathroom visibility better at night.

  • Install Moen or Other Safety Grab Bars

  • Switch a Regular Shower to a Hand-Held Shower Head

  • Purchase a Shower Chair or Transfer Bench

What Do Big Bathroom Remodels for Seniors Entail?

If you want to completely redo a bathroom with senior accommodations on a large scale, you still must make changes like those listed above. You also need to take the process a few step further. For example, if your senior loved one is confined to a wheelchair, you may need to lower the sink or counter. Installing a new shower is also essential. A curbless shower allows a wheelchair to roll right in. A curbless shower is also a good option for a senior loved one with a walker or general balance issues. It eliminates tripping hazards. A curbless shower also eliminates the need to climb into a bathtub-shower combination.

If your loved one prefers to bathe, you can install a senior-friendly bathtub. A traditional bathtub has a high edge a senior may have difficulty climbing over. It also requires laying down to bathe. A senior may have difficulty getting into or up from that position. Getting up is especially difficult, since the bathtub becomes slippery when it is wet. A walk-in bathtub eliminates all of those problems. It has a door, allowing the senior to walk in to bathe. It also features extra depth and a seat, eliminating the need for the bather to lay down. Walk-in tubs come with various features and options, such as:

  • Soaker Tubs

  • Wheelchair Accessible Tubs

  • Scald Prevention Devices

  • Heated Seats

  • Self-Cleaning Options

  • Massage Options

What Are Some Top Bathtub and Shower Options for Seniors?

There are many companies that provide bathtubs and showers for seniors. Select one based on your own needs, budget, and standards. Start by examining some of the top brands in the U.S. known for senior-safe bathroom fixtures. Those brands and some of their features are as follows:

  • Kohler has been in business for over 140 years. In recent history, it has been a top name in kitchen and bathroom fixtures. Kohler walk-in tubs feature fast drain technology, heated backrests, and hydrotherapy jets.

  • AmeriGlide provides unique solutions for senior bathroom remodels. Those solutions include walk-in tubs, as well as conversion kits to make tubs and showers more accessible. AmeriGlide also provides other tools for elderly and disabled assistance, such as bath lifts.

  • Ariel offers various low-threshold steam showers perfect for seniors. Rounded and rectangular shower stall options are available. Ariel also offers walk-in tubs for seniors with mobility issues, as well as whirlpool and soaker tubs for more mobile seniors looking to relax.

  • Freedom Bathtubs specializes specifically in senior and disability-friendly walk-in bathtubs. Many of its bathtubs are ADA-approved for the disabled. Freedom also sells grab bars and bath seats.

  • Hydro Dimensions also specializes in bathtub technologies. Its walk-in tubs include features like air, hydro, and bubble massage therapies. Many of the tubs feature built-in grab bars for extra safety.

How Can You Qualify to Get Bathroom Remodel Grants for Seniors?

Undertaking a full senior-friendly bathroom remodel is an expensive process. Walk-in tub prices alone start at over $2,500, in most cases. If you cannot afford that expense, you may qualify for assistance in the form of grants or loans. For example, Medicare and Medicaid both offer home modification assistance benefits. Similar benefits are available for veterans through Veterans Administration grants. You can also check with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or your local Agency on Aging to find senior bathroom remodel assistance.