There’s no place like home, and for the nearly 50 million people ages 65 and older in the U.S., many undoubtedly want to stay in their homes as long as possible.
An important thing to consider when looking ahead to the next five to 10 years is making sure your house continues to be a safe and accessible place, ready to accommodate any future needs that arise. If you’re looking to remodel your bathroom anytime soon, here are a few safety-minded features to consider to make it easier and safer to age in place.
Flooring: Minimizing the risk for slips and falls, especially when the smooth surface is wet, is an important consideration. Opt for textured, slip-resistant tiles that are rated at 0.42 or higher.
Curbless showers: When it comes to creating an accessible bathroom plan, a curbless shower has many benefits beyond eliminating a major tripping hazard. Curbless makes the room look larger and sleeker, plus it will be much easier to clean. Be sure and include a means to shower while seated. If a built-in seat isn’t practical, a SPA Shower Seat with a shelf lets you get off your feet and shower safely, while offering a safe place to store those shower essentials.
Toilet: A few key considerations will keep things functional and safe for people of all abilities. Choose a taller “comfort height” model, with grab bars handy to reduce the risk of falling. Make sure there’s plenty of space around the seat for accessibility. Finally, be mindful of the placement of the toilet paper holder to minimize stretching and reaching.
Hardware: Instead of traditional twist faucets, levers make for easy hand-washing and showering. A sprayer attachment also makes showering easier.
Lighting: Choose fixtures that keep things well-lit throughout the bathroom, but without a harsh glare. If needed, install additional lighting over the shower or tub. Replace sticky switches with rocker style, and plug in a nightlight or two to keep things illuminated through the wee hours.