As we age, we may begin to face many physical and mental challenges. However, the preference of our aging society is to retain an independent lifestyle. Remodeling and updating our current homes to meet specific needs provides a comfortable, familiar environment.
As a remodeling company who specializes in remodeling bathrooms, our design focus is to create a healthy, functional, beautiful, and safe space to support our customers’ lifestyles. During mid-life, we may develop any number of ailments such as visual perception change, sensitivity to temperatures, and slower reaction times. We may also be afflicted with conditions such as arthritis, chronic pain, or experience an operation that challenges our mobility for any amount of time. We believe that the bathroom is the most important space in which to incorporate safety features such as level thresholds and grab bars to prevent falls on a hard surface.
Many aging-in-place design features available today are aesthetically pleasing as well as functional. Adequate lighting is also important in a bathroom, as well as proper switching and waterproof outlets. Dimmers are a good idea to conserve electricity, but also can help with sensitive eyes as you age. A walk-in, tiled shower – complete with non-slip tile, a bench seat, rain head, hand held shower, and grab bars – provides ease and accessibility without compromising aesthetics. You may also consider installing a comfort height toilet, levered handles for faucets, pulls for cabinet hardware, and plenty of storage within arms reach. Contrasting finishes throughout the space improves the visual distinction between countertop and floor, making sure that each of them look considerably different for aging eyes.
Lastly, a security system with 24 hour monitoring affords peace of mind to the homeowners. These security systems can range from simple theft security to more complex systems that can cover for fire or medical emergencies. Some of these systems can also include programmable thermostats. Depending on your home, these systems can be affordable and relatively easy to install.
Of course, all of these features are only suggestions. Homeowners may elect to incorporate some or all of these elements. The safety features mentioned above are only the beginning of the many affordable options available for aging-in-place bathroom design. With the growing number of design options and products available in the aging-in-place market, it is very easy to personalize your bathroom project to maintain an independent lifestyle for many, many years to come.
Photo credit: Flickr, Creative Commons, University of Exeter