A Criner certified aging in place specialist can handle all phases of a bathroom remodeling project, from simple modifications to completely redoing the room. Potential changes to bathrooms are divided into different levels, depending on the level of assistance needed.  Here’s a look at how this works.

Level One Changes

These alterations can include:

  • Adding grab bars – 1 in 3 seniors falls every year. In fact, 90% of broken hip incidents are due to a fall, and falls are the major cause of fatalities among senior citizens.  Grab bars can help to minimize these risks.
  • Changing faucet and shower/bath fixtures to lever-handled models – Arthritis and/or muscular deterioration can make turning traditional round handles difficult. Switching to lever handles alleviates this problem.
  • Adding thermostatic (anti-scald) controls to faucets and bathtub/shower controls – many seniors lose the motor skills needed to set washing or bathing water at an appropriate temperature, sometimes leading to scalding injuries. An aging-in-place specialist can install controls that prevent the water from becoming dangerously hot.

Level Two Changes

These involve more extensive modifications to the bathroom environment that your certified aging in place specialist can assist you with. They can include:

  • Installing a higher toilet – Typically these add 3” to the height of the average toilet, making it easier for the home’s occupant to stand up after use.
  • Installing slip-resistant flooring – This involves adding tile with a highly textured surface as opposed to smooth surface, to keep residents on their feet.
  • Changing bathtubs to showers – This can be done via a full conversion project or by retrofitting a tub with a shower pan kit.
  • Added lighting – This is an important part of maintaining acceptable safety levels.  Seniors typically lose much of their vision, and increasing the amount of light in the bathroom helps to compensate for this fact.
  • Changing light switches – Old-fashioned ones can be hard for older people to operate.  Installing lever, or “rocker” switches, which can be turned on and off with closed hands or elbows, alleviates this problem.
  • Door knobs – Traditional round ones can be challenging for seniors to use.  Lever-style handles, on the other hand, are easier for everyone to turn.  The same can be done to cabinets and drawers for improved access.
  • Raised vanity heights – Traditional vanities can have heights as low as 28 inches, making them difficult for older persons to use.  Raising the height to 36 inches reduces the need to stoop over.
  • Shower heads with adjustable heights – This innovation allows the showerhead to come to the person using it, instead of the other way around.  Typically, this is done by attaching the head to a sliding rail structure.

Level Three Changes

These involve the most extensive modifications to a traditional bathroom.  They may include:

  • Adding variable height cabinets and counter tops – to match varying levels of strength and dexterity and to aid those bound to wheelchairs.
  • Enlarged doorways – For those with significant motor skill impairments or with high body mass index (BMI) weights.
  • Reinforcing walls around tubs, showers, and toilets with braces – To support grab bars suitable for residents weighing in excess of 250 pounds.
  • Wall-hung sinks – To protect residents from pipes.
  • Walk-in bathtubs – Equipped with watertight doors to allow entering and exiting without stepping over the rim.
  • Lights in the shower stall – For those with acute visual impairments.
  • Wheelchair-maneuverable bathrooms – For access by those who depend on wheelchairs for mobility.
  • Toilet paper holders that can be changed with one hand – For those with significant hand coordination impairments.

Trust Criner to handle your aging-in-place needs. Modifying homes for seniors and/or those with physical challenges is a special kind of remodeling that calls for the right tools and certifications.  That’s why you should choose a certified aging in place specialist at Criner Remodeling to handle these types of projects when the time comes.  Give us a call today, and let us show you how affordable it can be for you or someone you love to live out their days at home.