Despite everyone's best attempts to age gracefully, the process is often accompanied by slowly diminishing capacities such as vision, hearing, balance, flexibility and strength. Washrooms that were once considered luxurious can become hazardous, but with simple modifications can be made safer and easier to use. A person can spend thousands of dollars retrofitting a washroom with permanent components. However; if on a budget, many temporary items can be rented, or found on Craigslist, Kijiji or other classified ad websites. Below is a list of considerations that incorporates both permanent and temporary measures that can make a bathroom more accommodating.
The process of bathing – whether standing or sitting can also be more difficult as we age. Luckily, there are several choices for assistance. These include a portable bath seat that comes in different widths, and with or without a back. They are durable and rust resistant and feature adjustable legs allowing for varying heights. There are also rotating bath seats that sit on the edges of the bathtub and allow a person to sit down outside of the tub and then swing themselves into position. There are also lift models that allow people to be fully submerged in the tub. Depending on the model and the features, these range in price starting from $1500 to several thousand.
There are also walk-in bathtubs on the market. However without a full immersion tank that fills first, then allows a person to get in and then have the bathtub fill very quickly, waiting naked inside the tub while it fills from a standard tap can take a long time, and make for a very cold and chilly wait. The same is true when it empties.
For ease of mobility, hand held showers allow for greater ability to shower oneself or for assistance when the time comes. These can be added at a relatively low cost to existing shower or bath controls. The head of the wand can be installed within reaching distance of a seated position in the shower or bath. Similarly to a bathtub, a portable shower seat can be used, or a permanent flip-down shower seat can be installed.