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How to plan Aging in Place for a Bathroom



There are a few things to consider when designing a bathroom for aging in place, such as the layout of the space, ADA compliance, fixtures and fittings, and its overall look and feel.


With a little bit of planning, you can have a stylish, functional bathroom that is planned well for safety and ease of use.


This guide will share some aging-in-place bathroom design ideas that can help homeowners or guests enjoy the bathroom comfortably.



What is Aging in place?


Aging in place is the ability to age and live in one's own home and community independently, safely, and comfortably, irrespective of one's income or ability level. It is often seen as an alternative to moving into a long-term care facility, such as a nursing home.


A bathroom can be one of the most dangerous places in a home for an older person if it is not properly equipped with safety features.

When designing an aging-in-place bathroom, it is important to keep the user's needs in mind.


There are several factors that can contribute to someone's ability to age in place. These include access to transportation, a flexible home layout (especially a senior-friendly bathroom), and the availability of a support system, whether that be family, friends, or other community resources.



Aging in place bathroom must-have


The shower seat

For many, taking a shower is essential to their daily routine. But as we age, showers can become more difficult and even dangerous. Slips and falls in the shower are a leading cause of injury for older adults, which is why having a shower seat is so important.


A good shower seat will provide a safe, comfortable place to sit while you shower. It should be sturdy and stable, with a non-slip surface. And it should be easy to get in and out of, so you don't have to worry about falling.




The grab bar


As we age, we may need a little extra help getting around. That's where grab bars come in. Grab bars are an essential aging-in-place bathroom feature that can provide much-needed support and stability.


Some grab bars are designed for use in the shower, while others are better suited for the toilet or sink area. We use grab bars that are more decorative in nature and go well in style and finish with the rest of the plumbing trim in the bathroom.


When installing a grab bar, it's important to choose a location that is both easily accessible and strong enough to support your weight. The bar should be securely mounted to the wall using bracing placed in the wall, and it should be at a comfortable height.




Zero Entry Shower


There are other aging-in-place bathroom features that can make life easier. A curb-less shower, or what we call zero entry, makes getting in and out of the shower much easier. In this design, there would be no curb or step to get in and out. This eliminates trip hazards and creates a much functional use of the shower for both the person aging in place and whomever may be assisting them.



A hand-held shower head


For seniors, a hand-held shower head is an absolute must-have in the bathroom. Not only does it make bathing easier and more comfortable, but it also provides a much-needed sense of independence and dignity.


There are a few things to look for when choosing a hand-held shower head, such as:


>> Ease of use: The last thing you want is a shower head that is difficult to operate. Look for one with large buttons or levers that can be easily turned on and off.


>> Water pressure: Make sure the shower head you choose provides enough water pressure. Some seniors have low water pressure in their homes, so a high-pressure shower head is a must.


>> Adjustability: A good hand-held shower head should be adjustable to control the water temperature and flow. This is especially important for seniors who may have sensitive skin.


>> Warranty: Many hand-held shower heads come with a limited warranty. This is important to consider, as you want to ensure the product is high quality and will last for many years.



Shower Valve Placement

Shower valve placement is important to think about in any shower but especially one for aging in place. If at all possible, place the shower valve(s) near the entrance of the shower. This allows the use to turn the water on without fully entering the shower and getting wet before they are ready.



Flooring ideas


When choosing flooring for an aging-in-place bathroom, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, the flooring should be slip-resistant. This is especially important in the shower area, where slippery floors can lead to dangerous falls.


Second, the flooring should be easy to clean and maintain. This means avoiding materials like carpet.


Third, the flooring should be comfortable to walk on.




Storage solutions for seniors


Here are some ideas:


Corner shelves: They can be installed at different heights to make it easier for seniors to reach items and are a great way to use otherwise wasted space. They're perfect for storing frequently used items, such as soap, shampoo, and toothpaste.


Cabinets with drawers: This type of storage can be easier for seniors to open and close at will, and it does provide more hidden storage for items that may not be used as often. A custom cabinet is also the best substitute for a linen closet with wire shelving.


Countertop tower: A countertop tower is another great way to add extra storage to your bathroom. It can be used to store toiletries, towels, or other bathroom essentials.


Baskets: Baskets are a versatile storage solution that can be used for a variety of things, such as towels, laundry, or even shoes. They're also great for storing items you don't use, such as out-of-season clothes or holiday decorations.


More importantly, make sure that the items are easily accessible. For example, toiletries should be stored within reach of the toilet. Towels can be hung on hooks or shelves. Cleaning supplies can be stored under the sink or in a closet.





Minimizing maintenance

Easy-to-clean elements like large format tile or stone slabs in the shower are a great way to minimize maintenance. Stick with lighter colors and finishes that won't show water spots or soap scum as easily.




Conclusion

The goal of an aging-in-place bathroom is to create a safe and comfortable environment for people as they age. Not only do we prioritize the features in this guide, but we include plenty of dimmable lighting and ensure utmost compliance with ADA compliance standards.


Give us a call for your aging-in-place bathroom makeover.


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