Kost's Korner

Plumbing retrofits for a home for seniors with limited mobility

It’s no secret and a fast-growing trend for more seniors to choose to remain living at home instead of moving into assisted living facilities or nursing homes. Seniors who make this decision often rightfully do so  to maintain their dignity and independence.

When performing a bathroom remodel for the elderly, it is vital to make changes that allow free movement through the bathroom without the risks of slips and falls. You’ll want to take a look at a variety of option from walk-in bathtubs and showers to grab bars, lighting and more.

Statistics from the CDC show that approximately 235,000 individuals seek medical attention from bathroom related injuries annually. For the elderly, remodeling for safety should always come first. 

Some plumbing retrofit ideas for bathroom safety include walk-in bathtubs, fixed showerheads, handheld showerheads with an adjustable setting and relaxing whirlpool jets. When you go shopping for a walk in bathtub or shower, be sure to inquire whether these features are included or can be added by a plumber before you purchase. 

Senior-friendly toilets (also called chair height toilets) give the elderly the freedom to lower and raise their body using minimum effort. Special lift chairs are also available that help lift and lower.

Height adjustments to existing bathroom appliances can also significantly enhance ease of use for seniors. Lowering the sink or toilet makes a substantial difference, and if the person is in a wheelchair, always be sure there is enough knee clearance to comfortably go to and from the sink.