14 October 2008


Many adults are doing their best to help parents remain safely and independently in their own homes as they age. Others are moving parents into their houses, both for safety and economic reasons.

If you’re facing either of these issues, here are some ways to be proactive on safety in one of the most accident-intensive rooms in the house – the bathroom.

* Replace a standard toilet with a comfort-height version.
* Add grab bars in the shower, tub and toilet areas. (Moen Kingsley Oil-Rubbed Bronze shown here.)
* Replace knob-style faucets with lever-handled faucets.
* If your parent is in a wheelchair, replace a standard vanity with one specifically designed for this user’s needs.
* Replace counter tops in the bathroom with rounded-cornered versions that contrast sharply with the vanity color beneath it.
* Increase the bathroom’s lighting.
* Replace a pre-code shower valve with a non-scald version.
* Replace a wall-mounted shower head with one on a slide bar. If there are two shower users, and only one has a disability, it is ideal to add a second valve attached to a slide bar shower head for the seated user and keep the original one for the standing user.
* Add a bench to the shower stall.
* Replace a tub with a shower and make it curb-less if the user is wheelchair-bound.
* Check that the vent fan is working properly to help avoid mold hazards.
* Replace smooth, slick flooring with a less slippery textured tile. If this isn’t possible, have a slip-resistant treatment applied to the existing floor.

If your parent is under medical care, it is crucial to involve his or her medical team before making any living arrangement changes.

For more ideas on increasing your home's accessibility, please read my whole-house article published online at BobVila.com.

1 comment:

  1. My recommendation to add with your list is to use nice tiles with less slippery as you said.


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