Nobody wants to age but it's inevitable. It happens to all of us. And most people don't want to renovate their bathroom every year so it's important to consider how long the design will last and how functional it is for your lifestyle while you're going through the process. If you're in your 50's or 60's, this might be the last renovation you plan and want to do. Or, even if you're younger but your renovating a bathroom that you anticipate a parent might be using in the near future--maybe one that could be moving in with you...then, it would be important to consider as well. But the thing is, a bathroom that's prepped for aging doesn't necessarily have to be ugly. We all think of the commercial handicap accessible bathrooms when we think of "appropriate for the elderly" but it doesn't have to be. Today we're going to discuss some easy things you can do during your next remodel that will give you a bathroom that can age with you without having a bathroom that's just plain ugly.
For starters, the shower is always the most dangerous place for the elderly because it's wet and slippery. Not to mention the fact that standing for long periods of time can be over exerting for the body and there's a risk that those knees could give out on you. But if we're being honest, we all get tired...not just the elderly. And it's always nice to have a place to sit in the shower for activities like shaving your legs or scrubbing your feet. So consider installing a shower bench in your next remodel. It can be beautiful and convenient for the young and the old!
The other thing to consider is that, once you have a shower bench where you may be spending the duration of your shower, getting rinsed off could be an issue. For this reason, hand held shower heads are always nice! They make the entire shower process possible from any place in the shower and! bonus--they're convenient for cleaning!
And yes, we're going to say it too-- grab bars are a pretty big deal for showers when you're older but we will say that there are a ton of more attractive options out there than there ever used to be. Something to consider!
Also, if possible, ditch the shower curb if you have a walk-in. This little thing is just going to become a big tripping hazard and make getting in and out of the shower a harder task than it already is. And trust us, the clean look is prettier anyways!
Height is important in a bathroom it can make things really convenient or really inconvenient. The two most important places where this matters is the toilet and the vanity. For the toilet, we definitely recommend a comfort height. And honestly, it's nice for everyone, not just the elderly. It makes the drop from standing to sitting much easier on the leg muscles because it's a little higher than a regular toilet. The other place where height matters is the vanity. A vanity that's a little higher is nice for leaning against while you're standing. It hits a little higher on the waist and allows for less pressure on your legs.
Finally, make sure your bathroom has good lighting! Which, again, is pretty important in any bathroom! Dark bathrooms can be dangerous places so be sure to prevent unnecessary injury by incorporating lots of light!