As baby boomers age there is a much larger population of folks who choose to “age in place” – they want to remain in the home they’ve lived in for as long as possible and are willing to make the necessary accommodations to facilitate this. A safe and functional bathroom is a critical part of the equation – bath and sink faucets should be easy to operate, there should be plenty of grab bars and the tub or shower should have a shower seat or bench to make bathing easier. With proper planning it is possible to make any bathroom safer for family members of all ages.
The bathroom should be free of clutter which could create a trip or fall hazard; bath mats and rugs should feature anti-skid backing to reduce the potential for slips and falls. Installation of grab bars around the commode and in the tub or shower enclosure are essential. The room should be well lit – in addition to a nightlight a lighted toilet seat is another item which is both practical and a good safety feature.
If you are able to bathe safely it is easier to remain in your home for a longer time; the ability to bathe while seated is one way to make sure you can bathe safely. Begin with the installation of a hand held showerhead – it can be used to shampoo hair, bathe small children, wash pets and clean the tub or shower enclosure. When you wish or need to bathe while seated it is easy to do so with a handheld showerhead. A handheld showerhead lets you direct the water spray precisely where you want it which is helpful if you are dealing with an injury or wish to enjoy a soothing water massage.