Age-related macular degeneration is one of the most common causes of vision impairment, affecting over six million people around the world. If you have been diagnosed with this condition or another form of vision degeneration, you will need to make some changes at home to accommodate your reduced vision. Is your bathroom user friendly for someone whose vision isn't as good as it used to be?
1. The Lights
One of the most important bathroom renovations for someone with declining vision is the lighting in the space. Existing lighting fixtures should be replaced with LED (light-emitting diode) lighting. This form of lighting is brighter than standard (incandescent) light bulbs. They also exceed the lifespan of both incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs. If necessary, additional LED lighting fixtures can be installed, all activated by the same light switch.
2. The Mirror
Your bathroom mirror will also need an upgrade in illumination. Install a backlit mirror with its own LED lighting. This ensures a bright, warm illumination of the reflected surface, with minimal shadowing of the reflection. This can be a necessary addition for someone whose vision has begun to decline, allowing you to still see yourself as clearly as possible.
3. The Floor
That additional lighting will help you to notice potential hazards, such as a wet floor, which can reduce the chance of slipping over and injuring yourself. However, your vision impairment can make it more difficult to spot these hazards, which is why your flooring should also be part of your bathroom upgrade. It might not be necessary to entirely replace the flooring, but installing a centrifugal air mover in your bathroom can result in a safer floor. This essentially artificially circulates the air in the space, so that your floors dry much faster, eliminating a key safety hazard.
4. The Toilet
Bathroom grab rails in the shower and around the toilet are generally more for people with mobility problems who need those rails to steady themselves. They can also be beneficial for someone with impaired vision, and they're easy enough to add. You could also consider replacing your toilet with one that is closer to the floor, if necessary. This decreased height can make it easier to place both feet squarely on the floor, which can increase your stability while using the toilet.
Any bathroom renovations to accommodate your diminished vision don't have to be a massive overhaul of the room, but these minor additions can make the space far more user friendly.