bathroom for senior

Accessibility Upgrades: Creating a Barrier-Free Bathroom for Seniors

While most bathrooms share similar hardware, fixtures, and layouts, some require special upgrades to accommodate the needs of those residing on the property. Households with senior family members, for instance, may need to install a variety of enhancements to create a barrier-free bathroom. This ensures that senior family members can comfortably, safely, and easily use the space.

If you’re looking for upgrades that can make your bathrooms more senior-friendly, consider getting the ones on this list. This way, you can clearly communicate your ideas with professional bathroom renovations Auckland residents can trust.

Grab Bars and Handrails

Installing grab handles and handrails in strategic locations in the bathroom can create a safe and accessible environment for seniors. Seniors can hold onto these fixtures for stability and support, helping them maintain their balance and prevent falls. Consider installing grab bars near the toilet, shower, and bathtub to assist with sitting down, standing up, and manoeuvring in and out of these areas.

Additionally, consider vertical and horizontal placement to accommodate different needs and preferences. When choosing grab bars and handrails, opt for sturdy, rust-resistant materials that don’t break so easily like stainless steel or chrome.

Shower Bench

A shower bench provides a convenient seating option for seniors who may have difficulty standing for extended periods or maintaining their balance in the shower. It offers support and stability during bathing activities, allowing them to shower independently with confidence.

When selecting a shower bench, choose a sturdy, waterproof material that can withstand exposure to water and humidity, like teak or plastic. You should also position the bench within easy reach of shower fixtures to ensure adequate space for manoeuvring around it. Furthermore, consider getting a bench with adjustable height options to accommodate different users’ needs.

bathroom seat

Curbless Showers

Curbless showers, also known as barrier-free showers, eliminate the need to step over a raised threshold. As a result of their design, they’re ideal for seniors with mobility issues or those who use mobility aids, like wheelchairs or walkers. By removing the barrier between the shower floor and the rest of the bathroom, curbless showers create a seamless transition and reduce the risk of tripping or falling. When designing a curbless shower, however, it’s important to ensure proper drainage to prevent water from pooling outside the shower area.

Walk-In Bathtubs

Walk-in bathtubs offer a safer bathing alternative for seniors with mobility limitations or those who have difficulty stepping over the high walls of traditional bathtubs. These tubs feature a door that allows users to enter and exit without having to navigate a high barrier, reducing the risk of slips and falls.

To ensure that the senior members of your family are making the most of this bathroom fixture, select one that has built-in handrails, slip-resistant flooring, and comfortable seating options. You should also get a model that has a low entry threshold and easy-to-use door handles or latches.

Non-Slip Flooring

Non-slip flooring is crucial for creating a safe and secure bathroom environment for seniors, especially considering the presence of water and moisture. Flooring materials with textured surfaces or anti-slip coatings minimise the risk of slips and falls, even when the floor is wet. Options for non-slip flooring that offer both durability and traction include vinyl, rubber, and natural stone.

Non-slip flooring bathroom design

Accessible Sink

An accessible sink design is essential for seniors who use wheelchairs or mobility aids or those who have limited reach or dexterity. This type of sink is typically designed with a lower height and clearance to accommodate wheelchair users comfortably. Many accessible sinks come with levers or touchless faucets for ease of use. They may even have adjustable height or tilt mirrors to accommodate users of varying heights and abilities.

Raised Toilet Seats

Raised toilet seats elevate the height of the toilet, making it easier for seniors to sit down and stand up with minimal strain on their knees and hips. They come in a variety of styles, but the best models come with height adjustment options to ensure a comfortable and ergonomic fit. Opt for one with secure locking mechanisms to prevent slippage and instability during use. Additionally, consider getting padded or contoured seats for enhanced comfort and support.

Widened Doorways

Widening doorways is a practical modification that enhances accessibility and manoeuvrability within the bathroom for seniors using mobility aids like wheelchairs, walkers, or scooters. By increasing the width of the doorway, seniors can enter and exit the bathroom more easily and comfortably. For this upgrade, it’s in your best interest to consult with a professional contractor or remodeler to assess structural feasibility and determine the most suitable door-widening solution for your home.

wide bathroom doors

Senior-Friendly Doorknob Enhancements

Replacing traditional doorknobs with door handles or levers that require minimal gripping can significantly improve accessibility and ease of use for seniors with arthritis, limited hand strength, or dexterity issues. Look for ergonomic designs with smooth, rounded edges and non-slip surfaces to reduce strain and discomfort when opening and closing doors. Consider lever-style handles that can be easily pushed down or pulled up using the palm or elbow, providing greater accessibility for seniors with mobility limitations.


With the right upgrades, you can create a barrier-free bathroom your senior family members will appreciate. If you’re looking for reliable bathroom renovation services that can install these upgrades for you, TJ’s Kitchens and Bathrooms is a name you can trust. We’ve been delivering quality kitchen and bathroom renovations in Auckland since 1966, so you can rest assured that your bathroom renovation project is in good hands.