Aging in place can be an extremely attractive option for many homeowners. Continuing to live in your own home often means more freedom in decision making and keeping ties with close neighbors and relatives. More often than not, many homes require several home improvement projects to accommodate homes for aging in place.
Like any other home improvement project, there is no one size fits all plan for aging in place accommodations. A good place to start is with universal design, which is the approach to design that aims to satisfy the widest range of people. A couple of universal design principles for aging in place include widened doorways and a no step entry.
Designing a bathroom to age in place can be dreadful. Many homeowners may feel as though they have to choose between an efficient design and an aesthetically pleasing design.
Zero-threshold, or curb-less showers, are great for accessibility and have a simple, elegant design. They are especially perfect for those of you who prefer a shower over a bath and want to age in place. In addition, curb-less showers incorporate linear drains, which requires the floor to be pitched in one direction. This means that homeowners can choose to use the same floor tile throughout the whole space.
Going with a curb-less shower requires a continuous water barrier past the shower area. How far the water barrier extends will depend on whether there’s gasketing on the bottom of the shower door and the direction of the water. An alternative to a curb-less shower is a roll-in curb, which looks like a small speed bump. This can help to keep water from spreading throughout.
With bathroom safety being a concern for many homeowners, the addition of grab bars into the bathroom design is a good idea. For those not ready to commit, blocking for grab bars is a great way to think ahead and to avoid any future headaches of installing them.
Planning a bathroom for aging in place does not have to be dreadful. With simple and elegant designs, along with some pre-planning, an aging in place bathroom can be relaxing and enjoyable. For more aging in place remodeling ideas, visit the National Association of Home Builders’ Checklist or contact us.