It’s time to upgrade your bathroom, so why not take the time to think about what your future holds? Considering the high cost of a bath renovation, doesn’t it make sense to make sure you are prepared for the next 5, 10, or even 20 years? Whether the upgrade is for you in the years to come or for your aging parents, some changes will have to be made to accommodate aging.
Creating an Aging in Place Bath Can Be Stylish
Designing a safe and useful space for aging family members in your home doesn't mean you have to give up style. You can still have the look and feel of a luxury spa. Today’s sleek design options allow you to hide certain upgrades with clever innovations and unique features. Gone are the ugly grab bars protruding from your bathroom walls. Today’s designs often incorporate those shower rails in a way that look like they belong. For instance, many are designed in a way that allows them to double as soap and shampoo caddies.
Another way to incorporate more age-friendly design in your bathroom is to use a variety of design elements to create a more usable space. For instance, staggering sink or counter levels not only looks great but makes it possible for those with varying mobilities to use the facilities more efficiently.
What You Need to Think About
Before you remodel your bathroom, you need to think about the things you may need to change to make it more efficient for aging relatives (or yourself in the future). Here are just a few things to consider:
- Slipping Hazards. Tile floors can become very slippery, and this can create a falling hazard for older residents. Now is the time to install non-slip vinyl or laminate. If you still want real tile, opt instead for a more textured style since it tends to be less slick when wet.
- Tripping Hazards. It can difficult, if not impossible, for some older residents to get into a standard bathtub. So why not consider installing a large curbless entry shower that allows easy access? Make it at least 36 inches wide and consider adding a shower bench as well. Tubs can be retrofitted for easier entry, or you may want to consider a walk-in tub option.
- Accessibility. Just because you can reach your higher cabinets or shower head now, will you be able to in 10-15 years? Installing adjustable shower heads will make it much easier to handle bathing down the line. Plus, they are great when it comes to bathing children and pets right now! Be sure that shower head hoses are at least six feet long so that you can easily use it to reach your feet. For safety purposes, make sure to install water pressure and anti-scald controls as well. Of course, showers are not the only thing you need to think about. Overhead cabinets may need to be lowered for easier access as you age, and even your knob choices should be considered. Remember, as mobility decreases and arthritis makes opening and closing doors harder, replacing round knobs with levers can make it much easier to use the bath.
- Toilet Height. Making sure your toilet is at the right height can make your bathroom safer and easier to use for older adults. If you are not ready to install a new toilet, at least consider adding an adjustable seat. Also, consider a bidet, since they can make proper hygiene much easier for those who are having balance problems.
- Proper Lighting. Overhead lights can cause a lot of glare, and when you don't see as well as you used to, this can be a real inconvenience. Plus, dark showers can be dangerous. While you are remodeling, consider adding sconces on both sides of the mirror and a light in the shower area.
Getting Professional Help
Ready to create a beautiful, yet functional, bathroom that will last for years? Call us at Quality Craftsmen for a free consultation. We help customers in and around the East Cobb area transform their spaces into a place they love to call home. We are proud to be a Certified Home Builder and a Certified Aging in Place Specialist. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help!