Bathroom Plumbing Upgrades For Aging In Place
Throughout our lives, we need different things from our home at every age. Small children need safety and security. So do the aging population. And with baby boomers heading into their retirement years, the concept of aging in place is becoming stronger.
Most people want to stay in their homes as long as possible. And the bathroom is one of the key spaces in a home that can be the determining factor of whether or not it’s feasible. Almost 235,000 people wind up in the emergency room each year because of injuries suffered while bathing, showering, or using the toilet.
Even small changes can make a huge difference. And it doesn’t require your bathroom to look institutional to do it. Unlike features that have often become the norm in commercial locations required by the Americans with Disabilities Act, aging in place updates in residential situations have a lot more flexibility. The whole idea is safety, access, comfort, and style.
The Right Lighting
Most bathrooms are filled with harsh lighting that glares in the mirrors and fixtures. At night when the lights are off, it can become a difficult room to maneuver. Yet with today’s lighting options, there is a world of opportunity to change the impact. Introduce natural light by expanding a window or adding a skylight. Scones on the sides of the mirrors can be more pleasing on the eyes than harsh lighting from above.
Enlarge The Shower
A curbless shower works best for easy access for all. They can be a big benefit for someone in a wheelchair, someone on crutches, or even for bathing the family dog. Handheld showerheads are a must; make sure they have a hose that is at least 6 feet long. Seats can be built into the wall or fold away when not in use. Be sure to build in a cubby to keep toiletries within reach at all times.
Rethink The Tub
A walk-in tub is the ultimate in convenience. No more lifting your legs up high to climb in. Some tubs have doors that swing in and out and can only be filled and drained from the inside. Other brands make tubs that have a side that rises up and down depending on your needs.
Install The Right Sink
The perfect master retreat often has two sinks. Why not make them different heights? Instead of using a vanity, wall mount them instead, leaving space underneath for someone seated. Select faucets with levers for easy on, easy off. And instead of placing a mirror over the sink, consider a full length one in another part of the bathroom instead for easy viewing no matter what your height.
A Non-Slip Floor
Water and moisture can wreak havoc on a floor. It can leave it slippery and dangerous if you don’t choose the right materials. Tile is always a good choice. The more textured the tile, the less slippery. The smaller the tile, the more grout plays a part in creating friction. And with tiles, you can also install radiant heating that keeps your feet toasty warm even on the coldest of mornings.
How can you upgrade your bathrooms for the future?