One of our specialties at HSS and one of the jobs we called in to do all the time it to modify the bathroom area and stairways to make it safer and more comfortable for someone with mobility issues. When doing this, it doesn’t mean that you need to make it look institutional! Instead, with a little thought and following Aging-in-Place principles, you can make these areas attractive and safe. Here’s a recent consultation we did in Toronto.
Double railings. This condo already had one railing and we installed a second which is always recommended. Much more support. Notice the “returns” at the top of the railing (where the railing returns to the wall), which we had installed as well because the original railing didn’t have them. Returns make it a lot safer as clothing does not catch and the person knows when it is finishing. Also important is to paint the railing a contrasting colour. In this case, all the walls are white and by having a dark brown railing, people can see and grab it easier.
Bathroom grab bars and no slip strips. The grab bars are a no-brainer for all shower or bath areas and in this case they are the standard nickel. However, very possible to get different coverings and looks. On the floor, after cleaning the shower area, we have put down no-slip strips in a nice pattern to give more grip. A chair allows the person to sit down and relax without worrying about slipping and an extended shower head nozzle allows them the comfort of reaching all areas of the body.
Bidet. We’ve been installing a lot of bidets recently and they’re a great idea! This is one that heats the water as you require it, but there are ones that have pre-heated water and even just plain cold water. All work great, often have dryers in them, can wash front and back and ensure cleanliness with dignity.
There you have it. Four or five easy modifications to a house that will lessen the chances of a serious fall, all while looking good and ensuring comfort. Easily done!