Remodeling a small bathroom can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.
With the right planning and design, even the smallest spaces and tiny bathrooms can become functional and comfortable living areas.
This is especially true for seniors who may have difficulty navigating larger bathrooms or need specialized support.
From walk-in tubs to grab bars and accessible fixtures, there are many small bathroom renovation ideas that seniors can use to make their bathrooms safer and more comfortable.
Whether you’re looking for an easy way to update your existing space or planning a full-scale renovation, such as pocket doors, new light fixtures, or new bathroom floor these small bathroom remodel ideas are sure to help you create an senior-friendly bathroom.
How Can I Make My Bathroom More Elderly Friendly?
10 Tips For A Senior Proof Bathroom
1. Install grab bars in the bathroom: Grab bars provide a secure grip for seniors to hold on to when getting into the tub or shower, and can also offer extra support when sitting down upon exiting. Look for grab bars that are ADA compliant and mounted properly into the wall studs for maximum stability.
2. Choose non-slip flooring: To help reduce the risk of slips and falls, choose non-slip flooring in your bathroom. Look for tiles, mats or rugs with a textured underside that will grip the surface beneath it.
3. Opt for a curbless shower: It will automatically decrease your fall risk if there is no step to navigate. A curbless shower is easy and safe for everyone to use, from young children to the very elderly.
4. Install grab rails near the toilet: To make it easier for seniors to transfer from the toilet to other surfaces, install grab rails next to the bathroom. This will also help them maintain their balance while using the toilet.
5. Install an adjustable height hand held shower hose: A shower hose allows someone to bathe from a seated position comfortably and safely.
6. Install a shower chair: Shower chairs make it easier for seniors to bathe without needing help from a caregiver. Look for one with adjustable height, back rests, and arms for added comfort and support.
7. Place non-slip mats in the tub or shower: Non-slip rugs and mats can help prevent falls and slips in the bathtub or shower. Make sure to choose ones that are designed for the bathroom, as regular non-slip mats can become slippery when wet.
8. Install adequate task lighting. Lighting will enable greater function and independence with toileting, hygiene, and grooming activities.
9. Keep toiletries within reach: Place your elderly family member’s toiletries on a ledge or shelf near the tub to make it easier for them to retrieve items as needed. This will reduce the need for bending and stretching, which can be difficult for seniors with mobility issues.
10. Opt for a roll under sink that allows space for leg room from a chair.
What Is Better For Seniors…A Tub Or A Curbless Shower?
Ultimately, the choice between a tub and a curbless shower or a walk-in shower comes down to personal preference.
A traditional bathtub can provide more space for relaxing in the water, but it can also involve more strenuous movement getting in and out of the tub, especially for older adults or an elderly person.
On the other hand, a curbless shower is easier to access than a traditional bathtub and can be safer for seniors who are more prone to slips and falls.
Additionally, adding a shower seat can make it easier for seniors to shower independently.
Ultimately, as an occupational therapist, I believe a curbless shower is the most versatile, safest, and aesthetically pleasing remodel.
What Is The First Thing To Do In A Bathroom Remodel?
The first step in any bathroom remodel is to analyze the space and decide which elements need to be replaced or upgraded.
Consider what type of bathtub or shower you want, as well as other features like a bidet, heated flooring, or LED lighting.
Also think about how often the room will be used and who will be using it – for example, if a family with older parents is living in the home, then safety should be one of your top priorities.
As I mentioned earlier, to make the bathroom more accessible and safe for everyone, it is important to install grab bars around the bathtub or shower, as well as nonslip flooring that has good traction.
Additionally, make sure all faucets, knobs, and handles are reachable and easy to use. Lever handles are best for their ergonomic design.
Finally, decide what type of fixtures will be used – whether you choose modern or antique-style faucets, showerheads, and towel racks.
With all these decisions made it is time for the remodeling work to begin!
Once you have your plan and materials ready, the first step to take in a bathroom remodel is to remove any existing fixtures and finishes that you no longer need.
This includes old tiles, bathtub, toilet, sink, and countertop. Make sure to properly dispose of all these items according to your city’s waste disposal regulations.
Next, inspect the walls and flooring of your bathroom and check for any damage or mold that needs to be repaired.
If you find any issues with the walls, ceiling, or floor it is best to have them addressed before continuing with the remodel.
The next step in a bathroom remodel is to install new drywall on the walls and possibly add a new layer of tile to the floor.
Depending on the type of remodel you are doing, you may also need to replace the bathtub, toilet and sink.
Finally, it is time to install any new fixtures such as cabinets and shelves or updated lighting.
Don’t forget to include any decorations or artwork that you would like in your newly remodeled bathroom.
Also, don’t forget to create color contrast in your design. This includes wall, tiles, flooring, and finishes. Adding contrast will increase safety and decrease your fall risk in the bathroom.
Once the fixtures and decorations are in place, you can start to enjoy your new bathroom.
Make sure that all of the plumbing is installed correctly and it is important to do a final check for any damages or mold before using the space.
Taking these steps will help ensure that you have a safe and beautiful bathroom for years to come.
What Height Toilet Is Best For Seniors?
When it comes to finding the best height toilet for seniors, there are a few considerations.
Generally speaking, elderly adults should opt for comfort-height toilets that measure 17 to 19 inches from floor to seat.
This is higher than standard toilets and provides greater comfort when sitting down and standing up.
For those with limited mobility, wall-mounted toilets are also a great option.
These models attach directly onto your bathroom walls and eliminate the need for cumbersome toilet installation processes and will not clog due to their inherent design.
Activators (the flush mechanism) can also be made to be voice activated, eliminating the need for manual control.
The height of these toilets can be adjusted depending on individual preference, allowing seniors to find the perfect level of comfort.
Additional features to look for in toilets suitable for seniors include easy-to-use flushing systems and ergonomic designs.
Low-flow models are also recommended, as they help conserve water and reduce your utility bills.
Seniors should also consider installing grab bars near the toilet for extra stability, as well as a padded toilet seat to keep them comfortable.
When it comes to choosing the best height toilet for seniors, safety should always be the top priority.
Comfort and convenience are also important factors that should be taken into consideration when selecting the ideal toilet for a senior.
With these helpful tips in mind, you can make sure your elderly family members have an enjoyable and safe experience when using the restroom.
Bathroom Remodel Grants For Seniors
These grants are available to assist with the cost of remodeling a bathroom to suit the needs of seniors.
These grants can help cover costs associated with items such as accessible shower units, walk-in tubs and toilets that are appropriate for seniors.
In addition, grants may also be used to upgrade existing fixtures such as sinks, faucets and lighting, and flooring. To qualify for these grants, seniors must meet certain requirements.
Is A Pedestal Sink A Good Idea?
The answer is no. From my experience as an OT, a pedestal sink doesn’t have much room and will impede function because it reduces your work space.
It is a better idea to have a surface with plenty of room and easier access to toiletries. It is also a good idea to install accessible shelving or a medicine cabinet for additional storage space.
You also want to avoid too many dark colors in a small room.
It will require more natural light or artificial lighting to counter act dark colors on tile or walls.
Bathroom design is crucial when it comes to reducing your fall risk, especially in a small space.
Interior designers, especially one that is a CAPS professional can help elderly people create a wet room with safety features such as a raised toilet, hand-held shower, non-slip mat, easy access to needed supplies, and a safe and accessible shower area, while also creating a beautiful space.
Tax Deductions For Home Improvements
There are several home improvement projects and home repairs that may qualify for tax deductions if they are related to medical purposes.
A tax credit directly reduces the tax amount you owe. After determining how much overall taxes are due, a tax credit lowers that dollar amount at a one-to-one ratioForbes
These include installing ramps, widening doorways, and making structural changes to the home in order to accommodate a disability or illness.
In some cases, these improvements can also be used to improve safety or security in the home.
In addition, you may be able to deduct the costs of improvements that are necessary for medical care.
This includes installing items such as lifts, ramps, and other equipment used to provide support or treatment.
This includes installing energy-efficient appliances, windows, and other items that make the home more comfortable for individuals with special needs.
Finally, you may be able to deduct the cost of certain medical supplies and equipment used in the home.
These include wheelchairs, walkers, hearing aids, and other items that are necessary to provide medical care to your family member.
Another type of home improvement that may be tax deductible is any changes made specifically to accommodate medical equipment such as oxygen tanks, wheelchairs, and other devices that are necessary for treatment.
This may include installation of special wiring and outlets, or the construction of a room to house medical equipment.
While there may be some limitations and qualifications for these deductions, they can provide a way to reduce your overall tax liability while also helping to improve the quality of life of those who are in need of special care at home.
Always consult with a trusted tax professional before filing any returns that include home improvements and medical care.
The bottom line is that you should take advantage of any and all tax deductions available to you in order to reduce the amount of taxes you owe.
Home improvements related to medical care can qualify as an expense, so be sure to research your options and discuss them with a knowledgeable tax advisor before filing your return.
With proper planning, you can reduce your overall tax liability while also helping to improve the quality of life of those who are in need of special care at home.
In general, any home improvement that is made specifically to accommodate medical needs may qualify for a tax deduction.
Whether the home improvement is related to mobility, safety, or comfort, it may be possible to deduct the cost of the improvements on one’s taxes.
It is important to keep in mind that only medically necessary improvements are eligible for this type of deduction, and any renovations done for aesthetic purposes will not qualify.
When looking into tax deductions related to home improvements for medical care, it is important to keep track of all related expenses.
This includes the cost of labor and materials, but also any additional costs associated with the renovation such as permits or other fees.
All documentation related to these expenses should be kept in order to ensure that a deduction can be claimed on one’s taxes.
In addition to the typical home renovations, medical equipment and supplies typically found in a health care setting may also be eligible for tax deductions.
This includes items such as wheelchairs, crutches, oxygen tanks, hospital beds and other similar items that are used to provide medical care at home.
If any of these improvements or purchases are made with the intention of providing medical care at home, they may be eligible for tax deductions.
However, it is important to note that the improvements must be made specifically to accommodate medical care and not just comfort or convenience.
In addition to these modifications, alterations made solely for medical care may be deductible as well.
For example, if a bathroom is modified to accommodate a wheelchair user, then the costs associated with the project may be deductible.
Similarly, if a bedroom is modified to accommodate medical equipment like oxygen tanks and other devices, then those costs may also be eligible for deductions.
The deduction amount will vary based on how much of the home improvement was done for medical reasons, as well as any other applicable tax laws.
It’s important to consult an accountant or tax professional for exact details.
Tax deductions are just one way that individuals can offset the costs associated with medical care and home modifications.
Other options include utilizing grants and financial assistance programs, such as Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which may help cover the cost of home modifications.
Additionally, some employers may offer disability insurance plans that provide coverage for home modification costs.
It’s important to remember that the best way to ensure you get the most out of any potential tax deduction is to seek professional advice from a qualified accountant or tax preparer.
They can help review your specific situation and determine if any of your home improvement costs qualify for a deduction.
Additionally, they can provide advice on any other potential tax savings that may be available to you.
When filing your taxes, a tax deduction reduces your adjusted gross income (AGI) by the dollar amount of the deduction. Reducing your AGI lowers the amount of tax money you owe the IRS.Forbes
With the right planning and preparation, you can take advantage of all the opportunities available to help manage medical care and home modifications in an effective manner.
It is also important to keep in mind that not all home improvements related to medical care qualify for a deduction.
Many of the costs associated with installing or purchasing certain medical equipment, such as wheelchairs and other mobility aids, may be eligible for deductions.
However, it is important to note that any deductible amount must exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income in order to qualify.
How To Implement Universal Design In Bathroom Remodeling?
In my experience working in home health as an occupational therapist for over 10 years, I learned that creating a bathroom that is beautiful and aesthetically pleasing is just as important as safety and function.
A well designed space can prevent serious injuries from taking place not just for older people but for users in general.
That is the beauty of Universal Design, it makes functioning in a space easier for people of all ages, regardless of abilities.
Hire A Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist
A certified aging in place specialist (CAPS) is a professional who has been specifically trained to help seniors age in place safely and comfortably.
CAPS-certified professionals have the skills and knowledge to assess the unique needs of seniors and make recommendations for products and services that can help them live independently.
They also have a network of resources and contacts that they can connect seniors with, if needed.
If you or a loved one is interested in aging in place, working with a CAPS-certified professional can help ensure that your home is safe and comfortable, and that you have the resources and support you need to age independently.