Question: My master bath needs to be remodeled. What elements should I add to help ensure I can live in my home into my later years?
Remodeling your home with your future needs in mind, referred to as “aging-in-place”, is a smart idea. As we get older, our ability to move around our home can become impaired, and the bathroom presents many challenges when it comes to managing that decreased mobility. When we are designing and building a bathroom remodel that will accommodate those changes, we suggest the following elements to provide a safe and functional space:
1) Doorways widened to 36” to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers;
2) Wheelchair maneuverable space, such as a 60” turning radius, or appropriate t-turn space;
3) Adjustable, multiple shower head units, which include a hand-held shower head, a 6ft hose and off-set controls to allow for a comfortable shower either sitting or standing;
4) Braced walls around the shower, tub and toilet to ensure benches and grab bars can hold up to 250 pounds,
5) Curbless showers with a minimum 36” door width, eliminating the need to step up to get in and out of the shower;
6) Grab bars in shower, tub and toilet areas; (Your home is not a hospital and it does not have to look like one. Many reputable manufacturers make decorative grab bars that blend well into a well-designed bathroom.)
7) Lever handles on doors and plumbing fixtures to accommodate decreased hand strength;
8) “Comfort height” toilets, which are 2.5” taller than standard toilets, for easy access for the less mobile;
9) Wall-hung sinks with protection from the pipes to accommodate wheelchairs;
10) Non-slip flooring in the bathroom and the shower;
11) Rocker light switches for easy on/off capabilities;
12) Toilet paper dispensers that can be refilled with one hand – no more fighting the springs.
A first-floor master suite offers the best accommodation for decreased mobility. If a home does not currently have one, many times the floor plan can be reconfigured to add a full bathroom to a den or family room. Installing a stairway lift to reach an upper floor is an option, though that requires a 4ft wide space in the stairwell. And do not forget that door openings from outer rooms to the remodeled bathroom may need to be widened to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers.
Fortunately, there are now many options available that will allow you to live out your Golden Years where you are comfortable, have created memories, and have strong social ties.
One of our designers would be happy to help you with your aging-in-place remodel. Schedule your free, no obligation in-home consultation today by clicking here or calling us at 317-846-2600.