Aging-in-Place Bathroom Modifications
As our population ages and chooses to remain in their homes, certain home modifications and additions will be needed to ensure a safe and comfortable lifestyle. One area of the home that can be treacherous is the bathroom. Standing up, sitting down, stepping in and out of tubs and showers is a risky daily process for seniors and can be dangerous, especially when you add water to the equation. Also, your bathroom may not be post surgery friendly or suitable for wheelchairs or walkers. Alamo City Handymen provides services for seniors to update their bathrooms by installing:
Grab bars are exactly what they sound like. They are bars placed in showers, tubs, and around toilets to give people something to grab onto and steady themselves. Grab bars give seniors or the mobility impaired the ability to continue to be independant and minimize the need to rely on someone else to help them. Grab bars come in a variety of styles, sizes and lengths. When buying a grab bar you need to consider how much weight it can handle, how long is the bar, is the diameter too big or too small for your hands, and is the bar’s finish slippery when wet. Most bars need to be installed by drilling into the wall so it’s best to hire someone to do it correctly. Alamo City Handymen can recommend the best grab bars for your situation and securely install it for you at a reasonable price.
In addition to installing grab bars; adding a shower chair or stool will provide comfort and prevent falls. Shower seats come in a variety of styles, colors and are very light for easy placement and removal. Depending on your needs a simple stool might be all you need. A stool is perfect if you need a moment to rest or to help reach and wash the lower part of your body without having to bend over. A shower chair is recommended if you need something bigger and safer. A chair can come with armrests and a back for support. The armrests are strong enough to hold onto while getting into position. Some chairs have a padded seat with drainage holes to allow water to pass through and not pool. If you require more help getting in and out of the shower you may need a Transfer Bench type chair. A transfer bench allows you to sit down before entering the shower and then the seat slides across the bench into the shower. This way you never have to worry about stepping onto a wet shower floor as you get in or out of the shower. There are several shower chairs on the market so be picky when choosing one. Figure out if you need a stool, a chair, or a transfer bench and how much weight do they hold. Alamo City Handymen will measure your shower or tub and help you pick a chair that fits. The angle of the chair’s legs are important if you’re trying to fit it into a tub due to its rounded edges. You can also ask our handymen if a transfer bench is a viable option for your bathroom design and we will assemble whichever chair that you choose.
Comfort Height Toilets
If you’re in a wheelchair you will find that a standard sized commode is difficult to transition to from your wheelchair even with grab bars nearby. The reason for this is because standard sized commodes have a bowl height of 15 inches. A comfort height toilet, also known as an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) toilet has a bowl height that ranges from 17 to 19 inches. 17” to 19” is the average height of standard wheelchairs. Transitioning from wheelchair to the toilet is easier when both are at the same height. A taller toilet is also preferred by the elderly who are not in wheelchairs because they don’t have to bend down as much as they do for standard toilets but you want to make sure your feet reach the ground; dangling feet can fall asleep because of poor circulation. Alamo City Handymen will remove your old toilet and install your new comfort height toilet. The installation is the same process as any other toilet installation and should be completed in a couple of hours.