Modifying for elderly

It’s funny all the adaptations a house needs to go through in order to be suitable for the various stages and phases of life. When there are babies in your home everything needs to be baby-proofed. Sharp corners have soft rubber edges to minimise injury. Child gates are put up at the top of the stairs, the bottom of the stairs, in front of the TV, in the laundry and in the kitchen with child-proof seals on the cupboards. Then there’s also the constant spread of toys, nappies, and other bits and pieces a child needs. The house will look like this for a good few years, sometimes for longer if you plan on having multiple children. Eventually, these children will grow up and these protective devices are no longer needed. That’s why the house will be laden with other bits and pieces such as a bigger bed, a computer, musical instruments, and sports gear. After some time even these things will also no longer be needed. Then eventually the kids move out and it’s just the parents living there. After more time the parents will age and they will require bathroom modifications for eldery people.

There are a variety of modifications that can be made to really improve the quality of life for elderly that are experiencing loss of strength, loss of mobility, or aches and pains. A common addition to bathrooms are often railings or a toilet seat extender. These can help make it easier for someone to pull themselves on and off a toilet seat, particularly if they have weakness in the legs. Another change that can be made is creating a bathtub that has walk-in accessibility, or a shower that has a built-in seat. 

I remember the day I consulted with a Melbourne based bathroom designer who specialised in bathroom accessibility for the elderly. The designer helped me figure out what changes my parents needed. Now my parents have a new bathroom that’s more comfortable for them to use but still stylish.