Senior Citizen's Guide digital books
Senior Citizen's Guide to North Jersey

Bathroom Safety and Modification

Too often existing bathrooms are found to be impractical for those who use them. For the elderly, it is commonly an issue of safely entering and exiting the bathtub without the fear of being able to step over the unnecessarily high threshold without falling. For those in wheelchairs, it can be a narrow doorway that barely, if at all, allows the chair into the room. Maybe a cabinet under the sink prevents them from being able to get close enough to comfortably manage. There are, however, home modifications that can remedy these and other similar situations.

Very often a bathtub can be more of an obstacle than a convenience and Bathe-Safe has the remedy. One solution that some remodeling companies offer is to remove the bathtub and use the vacated space for a roomier, more maneuverable, roll-in shower. This is accomplished using either a custom-pitched tile floor or a fiberglass or acrylic shower base with an adjacent wheelchair ramp. Either way the shower becomes barrier-free and no longer the challenge it once was!

Old style toilets can pose another hazard with their low-to-the ground seat surface. This can make it not only uncomfortable, but also difficult for an individual to stand up again. Replacing an older style toilet with a comfort height design that is typically the height of a standard chair is an effective solution, making the individual comfortable and, most importantly, safe.
Most bathrooms are designed with sinks that include a vanity or cabinet underneath. Although these can be practical for storage, they become a nuisance for someone confined to a wheelchair. Simply being able to reach the faucet is a challenge. Having a company remove the cabinet and replace the sink with a wall-hung design allows the individual to get as close to the sink as desired. A wall hung cabinet or custom shelving can be then be installed to make up for the loss of storage space.

Although modifications like these are usually sufficient enough to make the bathroom safe, there are other times when an entirely new bathroom may have be built in order to satisfy the needs of the individual.

Since every home and situation is unique, it is helpful to find remodeling companies that offer free, no-obligation, in-home consultations. During this initial meeting, the company can gather a sense of what the individual's challenges and needs are in order to devise a vision of the bathroom that will suit his or her needs. Quality companies will then return on a follow-up visit to review with the individual a detailed written proposal package complete with a step-by-step chronology of the work to be performed along with specific product models and photographs.

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