As an architect and interior designer, I have long been acquainted with…
August 15, 2019
Top 10 Improvements to Make Your Bathroom Aging-in-Place Ready
Aging in Place | Safety | Home Improvements
Is there any statement that is more reassuring than “Home Sweet Home”? When I think about home I feel comfort, belonging, and that sense of “ah, this is where I need to be.” When asked, most people will tell you that they plan to live in their home as long as possible, whether it is a single-family residence, condo, or apartment. This desire heightens the importance of designing and equipping our homes with the safety and functionality we need as we age. This is what Aging in Place is all about.
To allow for Aging in Place, many homes need to be modified and the bathroom is the first place to start because falls are the leading cause of accidental death in people age 65 and up, and 55% of all falls happen in the home.
Here are the top 10 improvements to think about to make your bathroom Aging-in-Place ready.
- Provide a walk-in shower. A walk-in shower provides ease of access, it does not have a lip or curb to trip on, and it is roomier, allowing someone to assist you with bathing if needed.
- Incorporate a shower bench (You can see ours here). A bench or chair helps to improve safety in the shower, but is also a practical piece for shaving and other hygiene practices.
- A shower wand. Unlike some traditional shower heads, a shower wand is conducive to bathing while seated, for those who need this option.
- Grab bars. Grab bars provide safely safety and stability if you feel unsteady on your feet. They should be placed places in showers, near toilets, and in other areas where stability needs exist.
- A proper height toilet. A toilet that is too low is hard to sit down on and even harder to get up from.
- 5’x5’ clear space. When remodeling or designing a new bathroom space, provide a 5’x5’ clear space so that the bathroom can accommodate a person in a wheelchair to maneuver in the room.
- Light up the space. Provide lighting that illuminates the space for hygiene tasks and overall ease of use; but be cautious to avoid lighting that creates shadows that look like steps or tripping hazards.
- Provide ease of access. Storage should promote ease of use with daily objects at arm’s reach.
- Use levers for faucets, door knobs, and cabinet pulls. A single lever is easier to turn on and off. And lever knobs can be pushed down with very little hand strength.
- Wider doorways. If you can’t get in the bathroom, then all of your improvements are meaningless. If you do not have a lot of room to widen a doorway, think about incorporating a pocket door to gain additional width.
At Millea Living, we are creating products to help you live more safely and with confidence in your home, without sacrificing beauty and style. Our products are designed to be used by anyone at any age or ability. They can be incorporated into your home if you are fully active, but if needed (now or later), they can lend a helping hand to those in need.
Beautiful. Helpful. Home.
That’s our motto.