As homeowners move into their golden years, they may realize that in order to age in place in the comfort of their homes, they’re going to have to do some slight remodeling. The bathroom is one room in particular that usually requires changes and additions to accommodate people as they grow older. If you’re planning a bathroom remodel for yourself or a loved one, you should do some serious planning before you dive in. There are a lot of details to consider in your new bathroom design. To make sure you cover all the bases, be sure to ask yourself these questions:
- Is the doorway wide enough? Start your bathroom design at the entrance to the room! If you have a standard sized doorway, it may not be wide enough to accommodate the use of wheelchairs or walkers. Making the bathroom doorway wider is a wise move.
- Are the current floors non-slip? Your bathroom collects a lot of moisture, and it’s typical to splash water around here and there when you’re getting out of the shower or tub. For this reason, non-slip floors are a great safety addition to an aging in place bathroom.
- Is the bathroom bright enough? Proper lighting in the bathroom is important for ensuring that you can safely move around. Be careful when choosing the style and location of your lights, as you don’t want to cause an uncomfortable glare. If possible, use as much natural light as you can. Keep in mind that rocker style light switches are easier to use, especially for arthritic hands. Also, consider adding a nightlight to help with late night trips to the bathroom.
- Does the sink need to be lower? If someone in your family needs to use a wheelchair, a typical bathroom vanity will not accommodate them. A lower, wall-mounted sink (without a cabinet underneath) is more preferable. Some bathrooms even have two sinks at two different levels so that everyone in the house can be comfortable. You should also think about installing faucets with lever handles, as they allow for easier use.
- Does the toilet need to be higher? Higher toilet seats make it easier to sit down and stand back up, which is an important change to make in the bathroom.
- How is the bathroom storage? Open shelves are a great option for making it easier to find the items you need. Alternatively, cabinets with glass doors enable you to see inside to look for items. If you decide on cabinets with solid doors, the next step is to pick the handles.
- Do the cabinets have knobs or pulls? You may decide you want to keep the cabinets that are already in your bathroom. Whether you keep the old or install new ones, it’s a good idea to have door pulls put on your cabinets, instead of knobs. Remember, you want to keep in mind bathroom hardware that will be easier to use for older hands. Door pulls are also a good idea for shower doors.
- What kind of shower or tub do I need? Do you want a curb-less shower? A walk-in tub? Or, a tub designed for you to sit down and swing your legs into? What about both a shower and a tub? Usually, showers are the best option if you’re looking for a design that will be the most-user friendly for the most people. Showers are also typically designed to be large enough for those who need help, or those with walkers or wheelchairs.
- Do I need a shower seat? A shower seat is helpful for those who use a walker, wheelchair, or cannot stand up for long periods of time. If you have a stationary seat installed, make sure it is near the shower head. A moveable seat is a good option if you would like more flexibility.
- Does the bathroom need grab bars? It’s not standard for your bathroom to already have grab bars in (and right outside) the shower or tub and near the toilet, so you most likely need to have them installed. These safety features are one of the most essential aging in place bathroom additions you should have. For grab bars inside the shower, a non-slip grip may be necessary.
Like we said before, a lot of detail goes into an aging in place bathroom remodel. So, we hope this list helps you figure out exactly what you need to add or change in your bathroom to make it safe and accommodating as you age comfortably in your own home!
Aging in Place Hardware from Portals Hardware
As you plan your bathroom remodel, consider using Portals Hardware as a source for some of your aging in place needs. We design and manufacture unique, sustainable bathroom hardware that puts the finishing touches on any design. The best part about our products? They all have a lifetime warranty. So, you can rest easy knowing that you’ve purchased bathroom hardware that is sure to last. And, with our hardware, you don’t have to trade style for substance. We believe that your aging in place bathroom can be safe, functional, and beautiful.
To learn more about products from Portals Hardware browse our online store, contact us online, or call us at (816) 942-7413. We are happy to answer any of your questions about our aging in place bathroom products, our lifetime warranty, or anything else!