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Home Modification Guide

Modifying Your Home

Bathrooms

Bathroom Safety

The bathroom can be the most dangerous room in the home of an aging adult or differently-abled person. Are there non-slip surfaces? Enough clear floor space for aided mobility? Does your loved one use a cane or a walker? Is the bathroom a safe place for them when using their mobility equipment? Are the bathtub and shower controls reachable, easy to use and require little strength? Where are the grab bars in the bathroom? Are there grab bars near the toilet, shower and tub? Is a shower chair available and convenient? Is there ample space around the toilet?

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Common Problems

  • Narrow entry doors
  • Lack of turning space
  • Lack of maneuvering space to side of toilet
  • Toilet location obstructs bathing fixture
  • No knee space below sink
  • No reinforcing in walls for grab bars

Bathroom Solutions:

  • 5’ by 5’ clear floor space in the bathroom
  • Non-slip flooring
  • Bathroom size of at least 5’ by 8’
  • Broadly applied bands of reinforcement inside walls around toilets and bath fixtures for installation of grab bars
  • Textured grab bars by toilet, bathtub and shower
  • Offset controls in shower/tub to minimize bending and reaching
  • 48” by 56” toilet space with centerline of toilet 18” from side wall
  • Shower bench
  • Hand-held shower head
  • Curbless shower, with non-slip surface and fold-down seat
  • Doors that can be unlocked from the outside
  • A bathroom telephone
  • Rounded counter edges
  • Barrier-free showers
  • Walk-in tubs

Bathroom Assessment

Do you have trouble........ Solutions to Consider
Getting in and out of the bathtub?
  • Grab bars and tub bars
  • Dual grip bars
  • Extra-long non-slip bathtub mats
Sitting down and getting up from tub?
  • Bath lift
  • Walk-in tubs
  • Swivel bath seats
  • Transfer benches
  • Bath systems
Navigating the entry?
With secure footing?
  • Grab bars near entry and on walls
  • Extra space in and around sink and toilet
  • Remove throw rugs
  • Non-slip flooring
Standing at the sink?
  • Hemi walkers
  • Accessible sinks
  • Shower benches
Getting on and off the toilet?
  • Raised toilet seats
  • Stand bars
  • Hand grips
  • Non-slip flooring
  • Safety frames
Replacing toilet tissue on the holder?
  • Pivoting toilet paper holders
Reaching and effectively using toilet tissue?
  • Rolling toilet paper holders
  • Toilet hygiene aids
  • Inspection mirrors
  • Bidets
  • Reachers and grabbers
  • Toilet paper holder with grab bars
Reaching and cleaning thoroughly? standing while showering?
  • Reachers
  • Hand-held showers
  • Easy grip razors and tooth brushes
Accessing the shower?
  • Barrier-free showers
With dexterity limitations making grooming tasks difficult?
  • Hands-free hair dryers
  • Weighted grips for toothbrushes, razors and hair brushes

Bathroom Solutions