What is Aging in Place?
While we all wish we could stay young forever, unfortunately we can’t. Aging in place is the concept of building, remodeling or updating your home to fit the future needs of a baby boomer or someone who is elderly and would like to remain at hom. This concept also works for people with disabilities or injuries. Basically the idea of aging in place uses the most easy to use design options that create better accessibility in your home… and you now what? You don’t even need to be old to appreciate it.
Let’s Start with the Bathroom…
In your bathroom, you have many things to think about as you design around accessibility: the shower, the toilet, the sink, the faucet, the cabinetry, etc. Nearly every single item you can put into a bathroom can be ADA compliant and provide better accessibility for that aging in place design concept.
A lot of projects begin with cabinetry designs. There are actually ways to design your cabinetry to be more accessible for wheel chairs. The panels can go in deeper from the edge of the counter top to provide a space for a wheel chair to slide underneath. The counter tops can be at a lower height. You can even funnel outlets through the cabinetry so they are on the edge of the counter instead of possibly out of reach on the wall
Your sink, believe it or not, can also be more accessible! We just talked about how you can lower the height of the counters, so that would make your sink lower if you chose a conventional sink. However, Toto also makes accessible sinks. These sinks are specifically designed with a wheel chair user in mind. Toto actually has a wide range of ADA compliant items.
Then you also have the option of technology in your faucet which will make life easier for everyone. If you want to go with a touch-less faucet, Delta has a faucet for the kitchen and bathroom with Touch20 Technology. Moen also produces a Motionsense faucet. Information on both of those products can be found on our blog post, New Faucet Technology, earlier in March.
As much as they are laughed at, walk-in bath tubs are amazing. You don’t even have to be aging to appreciate the concept of having a personal spa in your bathroom. You can get them fully loaded with heated seats and back, hydrotherapy (water jets), air massage therapy (air jets), chromotherapy (color changing lights), and aromatherapy (essential oil diffuser). I’m only in my 20’s, but sign me up for that. At Inspire Kitchen and Bath we carry BathAid secure spa walk-in tubs. You’d have to try one out to believe just how awesome it is.
ADA showers are made by a wide range of companies. These showers are usually acrylic and come with optional seats, grab bars and more. ADA showers have a lower threshold so they are easier to step into. In your shower you may want to also consider a hand held shower head so that the user has more control over the water flow. This makes it easier when someone is sitting to control their shower.
Accessible and easy to use toilets are not hard to find! They are usually lower to the ground and optimized for anyone with any kind of disability. Toto even makes a high tech toilet called Neorest. This toilet comes with a remote control and a sensor so you have an automatic seat cover and flushing mechanism, heated seat with temperature control, cleaning jets to clean out the bowl, front and rear warm water washing jets with temperature and pressure controls, air deodorizer, night light, dryer and more. This is the ultimate toilet. It does literally everything for you.
The Lesson of the Day…
Aging in place is not just for the elderly. Technology that makes life easier is good for everyone, it just happens to make life easier as life gets harder and we get older. A complete list for all rooms of Aging in Place remodeling can be found on the National Association of Home Builders website.
Schedule your appointment with Inspire Kitchen and Bath to discuss your plans to remodel for aging in place!