As the adult child of an aging parent you are probably already vigilant about helping them take care of their home. Sometimes, however, rooms that are heavily used will need some updating to improve their appearance as well as make them more functional, especially if mobility issues are a concern. If your elderly parents, like many others in that age group, are living on a fixed income, consider using one or more of the following budget-friendly ideas to help them achieve a beautiful, more user-friendly bathroom as affordably as possible.

Lighten up the interior

Since vision issues are common among older people, an inexpensive way to help make your parent's bathroom more user-friendly is to lighten up the interior using the following ideas:

  • repaint the walls and ceiling with a very light color, such as a shade of white or creamy yellow
  • paint dark wood cabinetry and shelving a complementary light color, using a glossy, washable enamel paint
  • paint the inside of the medicine chest, drawers, and cupboards with a glossy, white, washable enamel paint to make it easy to see and find objects inside these spaces
  • add more mirrors or replace small mirrors with larger ones
  • clean all light fixtures thoroughly to increase the amount of illumination, and consider replacing frosted glass light fixtures with clear ones that will emit more light
  • change out the light switch for one that stays illuminated when turned off to make it easier for your parents to see
  • remove heavy window treatments that limit light and replace with a frosted film on the window panes that will allow light to filter through yet retain privacy

Add safety features

In addition to lightening up the bathroom, you will also want to add some inexpensive features that will offer your parents more safety and stability when using the bathroom. These include:

  • replacing current rugs with versions that feature a non-skid backing
  • installing grab bars by the toilet and over the bathtub
  • adding a handheld shower attachment to the shower to make bathing more comfortable
  • adding a lightweight but sturdy bath chair or bench to the shower stall to allow an elderly parent to sit while showering
  • checking the hot water heater settings to make sure that the water temperature setting is no higher than 120 degrees, which is a safe range to prevent scalding injuries or burns (this is especially important if one or both parents suffer any type of neuropathy that affects sensation in their limbs, feet, or hands) 

If time constraints or distance prevents you from personally doing these updates for your aging parents, consider contracting the services of a reputable bathroom remodeling contractor in the area where your parents live, such as Albrecht & Son LLC. Your parents will appreciate having a more attractive, user-friendly bathroom, and you will feel good about improving the safety of their home.