Almost every home has elders to live with. Designing a house, especially the bathroom, is essential for the elders to use. Bathroom is another significant room in the house. And most of all, it has to be safe. Therefore, design a bathroom for the elders need proper care, concern the safety and ready to use at all times. There are many factors for designing bathroom that need to be considered.
Design elements that should not be overlooked
Bathroom space for the elders should be at least 1.65 wide x 2.75 m. long with a diameter not less than 1.50 m. so the elders can turn around at 180 degrees. For elders who use wheel chairs, the bathroom should be divided into 3 parts
Floor should not be slippery
The bathrooms are usually designed to separate the wet and dry areas for easy care and safety. Mostly the wet areas floor is build lower for bath or shower. This can be dangerous and not suitable for the elders. Bathroom floor for the elders should be in the same level. However, if the bathroom is built in 2-levels, recommend to renovate it in the same level by putting on new floor tiles. Recommend to use tile with stiffness from R10 and up.
Install Necessary Equipment
For safety, attach hand rails in different part of the bathroom for the elders to hold on to. Attach hand rail near the shower as well. Choose a shower that can be adjustable to the height of the user and with a system that can control water heat at constant temperature. Also, put some carpets to prevent slippery in the bathroom.
Proper toilet size
Choose a toilet size 16-18 inches for the convenience of the user. Choose a toilet with an appropriate width for sitting, support weight and easy to sit/get up.
Choose a safe tile
The touch of tile is another thing to consider. Recommend to use non-slip tiles such as granite tile or grace porcelain tile that has rough surface. Notice the stiffness of tile with (R value), listed in the catalog or ask the staff for more details. Recommend to use tile with R10 for wet area, also use more of small tiles than bigger tiles. Small tiles have friction to touch and safer. Recommend to separate tile colors in wet and dry sections for clear and easy observation.
Easy to open-close door in an emergency
Bathroom door should be a sliding door with 36 inches wide for wheel chairs to access easily. Use a simple lock and keep the keys near bathroom in case of emergency or an elder needs help immediately. Or install an emergency switch near the toilet and bath area that be reached at 25 cm. and 95 cm. from the floor.
Power supply and alarm system
For safety, the power plug in the bathroom should have a lid. Or install power plug away from the wet area. There should be a ringing system or telephone for emergency assistance.
Accessories for convenient use
- Support Arm To help elder sit/get up easily. The rail should be curve with large handle for easy grip. Attach the rail near toilet and bath area.
- Hand Rails For elder to get firm grip by hand. It is shorter than the handle. Use in places where there is the need to hold or hold to stand firm.
- Shower Seat An essential device for the elder. Choose the right size of seat, non-slip, made from material, can carry much weight, and adjustable height for the user.
- Floor Drain Design the bathroom floor with a sloping area (Barrier-free) and no steps, to prevent stumble from levels of bathroom floor. The floor outside bathroom should be at the same level or made a slope for wheel chairs to access.
- Faucet Should be an automatic tap with distance censor. An automatic on/off water tap system approximately 40-60 sec. per use, which helps save water. Or should a faucet with lever that is easy to use, turn on/off water fast. Recommend a faucet with long lever in order to reach easily.
- Thermostatic Lever Handle Exposed Bath Mixer Shower and tap with extra-long lever to reduce pressure in pushing and convenient for shower. Choose a safety button to control heat not more than 38 degrees Celsius to prevent scald.
Apart from toilet and bathroom accessories for the elderly, HomePro also has many good products for the elders to choose such as health pillow, CCTV, anti-slip carpet, blinker, and night light. For the safety of the people that you care.