6 Ways You Can Make Your Bathroom Comfortable for the Elderly

Make Your Bathroom Comfortable for the Elderly
Make Your Bathroom Comfortable for the Elderly

A bathroom is a place of relaxation and tranquility where you can refresh, attend to personal grooming, and complete your daily cleaning routines. However, it is also one of those areas prone to slips and falls, which makes it a dangerous place for the elderly and those with limited mobility.

According to the latest numbers, every 1 in 6 people in the US is over the age of 65, and 25% of them fall in the bathroom each year. Slips and falls can put older adults into a serious condition, and some of them may even have lifelong or fatal consequences. This is why it’s imperative to make sure bathrooms are safe and accessible for the elderly.

Making your bathroom more accessible for seniors doesn’t require a major renovation. With some simple upgrades and minor adjustments, you can create a comfortable environment for the elderly. Let’s take a look at some easy modifications to make your bathroom more accessible, comfortable, and secure for senior adults:

1: Replace Enclosed and Curbed Showers with Curbless, Barrier-Free Showers

Both curbed and enclosed showers present a whole new dimension of challenges for senior adults. They can be incredibly difficult for seniors to step over, especially if a senior has mobility or balance issues. Besides that, some senior adults lose their ability to judge the height of an object, which may result in frequent tripping and falls. Enclosed showers limit a senior’s freedom of movement and may create a security risk for them if they trip or slip.

Walk-in or barrier-free showers are an excellent option to avoid such accidents. Since shower replacements require professional help, choose a reliable shower replacement company that has years of experience in shower replacement and deals in accessible bathroom designs.

A professional designer will assess your needs and propose the best shower design accordingly. They will ensure the walk-in shower is properly installed and provides enough space for the elderly to easily move or turn their wheelchair or walking aid.

Walk-in showers have a sloped entrance instead of a curb to provide easy mobility in and out of the shower area. They also have safety features like built-in seats and a scald guard.

2: Install a Walk-In Bathtub

Enclosed bathtubs are nearly 20 inches higher than the bathroom floor. These tubs can become a safety hazard for seniors as they may lose control and balance crossing over high curbs. Senior adults with mobility problems, weak back support, and joint issues often find it hard to maintain their balance while trying to enter or exit the bathtub.

Walk-in bathtubs are specifically designed to cater to the needs of disabled individuals and senior adults. These bathtubs have a negligible curb and come with a convenient door, which allows seniors to easily access the bathtub without raising their feet to an uncomfortable height. Moreover, walk-in showers can be easily configured for hydrotherapy, which can improve blood circulation and greatly improve symptoms of general malaise and joint pain.

3: Anchor Grab Bars and Handrails Throughout the Bathroom

Grab bars and handrails are essential components of an accessible bathroom to enhance comfort and security for senior adults. They provide much-needed support and stability to the elderly and greatly reduce the risk of slips and falls inside the bathroom. Seniors can use grab bars and handrails to use the toilet seat, move around the bathroom, and enter or exit shower areas or bathtubs. Seniors can move around the bathroom independently and perform daily tasks without assistance.

Install grab bars at the recommended angle near the vanity, toilet, and bathtub for assisted movement and anchor handrails strategically throughout the bathroom to improve mobility.

5: Prefer Adjustable Showerheads for Added Comfort and Accessibility

Seniors who use a wheelchair to move around find it hard to use a fixed showerhead due to its limited reach and standard height. Wheelchair-ridden seniors find showerheads too high, but an adjustable or handheld showerhead can make a big difference.

Adjustable showers allow you to set the showerhead at your desired height or hold the showerhead in your hands. More so, these showerheads can control water flow and pressure, which helps them adjust the shower to their preferred settings and clean hard-to-reach areas easily.

6: Make Your Bathroom Floor Slip-Safe

Wet floors and slippery tiles are a deadly combination for senior adults. Even when a senior is wearing slip-resistant bathroom slippers, a slippery bathroom tile fails to provide the required resistance. A slip-safe bathroom not only reduces the risk of falls but also enhances comfort and security for the elderly.

If your bathroom has ceramic floors, try upgrading it with textured tiles with matte or rough finishes. Textures not only create a welcoming environment but also enhance floor grip, which makes falls and slips less likely. Even if changing tiles is not an option, you can apply a non-slip coating to your existing floor to create an anti-slip surface.

Besides changing tile, place non-slip mats and rugs in areas that receive more water, such as in the shower area, around the toilet seats, and near the bathtub. Moreover, reduce the chances of slips inside the bathtub by sticking non-slip bath strips on the bed of your bathtub.

7: Customize the Heights of Bathroom Fixtures

Seniors with mobility problems, joint issues, or physical impairment require adjusted heights for bathroom fixtures so they can comfortably move to their wheelchair or walker after taking a bath or using the toilet. Similarly, physicians recommend that senior adults with degenerative joint or disk diseases should avoid exerting additional pressure on their spine and joints, particularly in vertical movements. Bending knee joints or standing for extended periods can be both inconvenient and potentially hazardous.

Rather than sticking to a standard height, adjust the fixture to match the senior’s knee height. You can install lowered toilet seats supported by grab bars or sidebars. Instead of a standing vanity, prefer a floating vanity top so a senior with a wheelchair can use it comfortably from a seated position.


Bathrooms are areas that stay wet most of the day depending on their frequency of use and can become a serious safety hazard for the elderly. The simple adjustments and minor modifications we suggested in this article are adequate to create a safe and comfortable environment for the elderly and allow them to move around independently with confidence.

Leave a Comment