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Safe bathrooms for seniors

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The demands on a bathroom can change very quickly. If you suddenly need care, the nicest bathroom can no longer be practical from one day to the next because it is not equipped for the disabled and is unsuitable for home care. Now sensible bathroom planning is necessary.

 

But even if the bathroom is not age-appropriate, the question arises of what should we do, how can we adapt the bathroom to our needs. After all, we spend a relatively large amount of time in the bathroom every day and nobody wants to expose themselves to unnecessary danger from difficult-to-exit bathtub edges or shower entrances. So it is important to avoid falls.

 

At some point, the existing bathroom will need to be remodeled or renovated. Since there is a lot to consider when renovating a bathroom, it should be well thought out and planned.

 

Specialists who do nothing other than plan and convert bathrooms every day are therefore good contacts. Plan the conversion together with a good sanitary specialist/sanitary fitter or an architect. You’ll be amazed at the options for a needs-based bathroom design that experts can suggest to you that and didn’t even think of.

 

Basic considerations for bathroom renovation

 

Remodeling a bathroom requires systematic bathroom planning. The first thoughts should be:

 

Why is the current bathroom no longer functional?

What absolutely needs to be changed to meet changing needs?

Should or must a complete bathroom renovation be carried out or is a partial renovation sufficient?

What color, what style, what design should the new bathroom have?

What budget is available?

Where do I have to apply for funding and grants for measures to improve the living environment?

Does a permit have to be obtained?

Is consent of the landlord required?

 

How expensive is a bathroom renovation?

“How much does a disabled bathroom renovation cost?” plumbing companies are often asked. However, it is impossible to give a general answer to the question of how much a bathroom renovation will cost. As with everything in life, there are cheap and expensive alternatives. This depends on the extent of the renovation work, the size of the bathroom and, above all, the desired equipment.

 

With a bathroom renovation, however, it can be said – roughly as a rule of thumb – that approx. 60% can be used for material costs and 40% for craftsmen and installation costs.

 

Save money on furnishings!

 

Beautiful bathrooms are advertised in glossy bathroom catalogues, experience showers with all the bells and whistles and luxurious fittings and sanitary objects. A lot of money can be saved when planning a bathroom if you pay attention to the prices of the sanitary items and compare them.

 

 

Save money on tradesman costs!

 

You can save here too. If, after careful consideration, you eventually know exactly how your bathroom should be remodeled, ask several suppliers to make you an offer. Negotiate with the craftsmen and agree on a fixed price based on the offer. So you know exactly what costs you have to expect.

 

What kind of bathroom is needed?

Before you remodel and redesign your bathroom, you need to know what you need. A significantly lower standard is set for a bathroom conversion that is suitable for the elderly than for a barrier-free bathroom renovation for a wheelchair user.

 

Elderly bathroom conversion

When converting a bathroom for the elderly, the focus is on a certain level of comfort and making showering, bathing and washing easier.

 

With increasing age, mobility restrictions increase too. That’s why one of the most important factors when remodeling a bathroom for seniors is definitely easy access to the shower or bathtub.

 

In the case of a bathtub, for example, this is achieved by retrofitting a bathtub door.

 

In the case of showers, the high entrances should be replaced by a floor-level, walk-in shower base. A sufficient number of handholds provide additional security.

Anti-slip tiles or anti-slip coverings in the shower are also important.

 

Possible changes and adjustments include, for example:

·        Widened doors so that the bathroom can be easily accessed with a wheelchair

·        Wheelchair accessible doorsteps

·        Enough space to turn the wheelchair

·        Disabled bathtubs

·        Walk-in/floor-level shower trays

·        Ergonomic fittings that are easy to use

·        Toilets with a raised seating position or height-adjustable toilets

·        Wheelchair-accessible or height-adjustable washbasins

·        Tilting mirrors

 

Does the bathroom need to be enlarged?

Some bathrooms are simply too small for wheelchair users. There must be a turning area that is large enough to be able to move freely and without difficulty with the wheelchair in the bathroom.

 

If there is the possibility of adding another room to the bathroom, this must be considered and planned in good time. An architect/structural engineer must check whether the wall to be removed is a structural wall. Appropriate supporting measures must then be implemented.

 

Such a conversion not only results in higher financial costs, but also causes a lot of noise and dust. An interim solution was to be found during the construction phase in order not to have to live in the apartment.

 

6. Which contractors are needed?

Once you know what changes need to be made to your bathroom, it becomes clear which trades are affected and which craftsmen you need.

 

Depending on the extent of the bathroom renovation, you will need:

A plumber, a heating installer (if not done by your plumbing company), a mason, a tiler, and a painter. Possibly a carpenter, because the door frames may have to be widened and the door sills removed. Window builders if windows are required that can also be operated from a wheelchair. Electrician if electrical wiring needs to be renewed or sockets installed.

 

We at the Pipe Doctor can help you with many of your questions and installations and refer you to reliable local contractors for the work that be done by us. Give us a call, we are happy to assist you:

call: 508-775-6670

email: cmurphy@plumberscapecod.com

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