You will be hearing more and more about Aging in Place due to the maturing baby boomer generation. In the year 2000, there were approximately 35 million people over 65. By 2030, there will be over 70 million, which is over 20% of the population!
As remodeling designers, we spend a lot of time helping people figure out how they can live comfortably and safely in their homes for as long as possible. The biggest issues everyone will face are decreased strength, mobility, balance and vision, which lead to struggles with everyday tasks like bathing.
One of the more popular projects we do is converting a standard bathtub into a very easy to use shower. With their deep bottoms, high sides, slippery surfaces, and shower curtains and sliding doors in the way, bathtubs can be very dangerous for elderly people. Converting the tub into a shower is a great solution. We remove the tub and tub surround, raise the height of the shower head so the water sprays downwards, install fixed glass on the shower head end and leave the other end open with a small ramp up to the shower floor. Grab bars, can lights and hand sprayers are excellent additions. This makes it easy to get in and out, and there is enough room for a portable shower chair if desired.
When considering a bathroom, age-in-place design is important, even if you aren’t feeling old…yet. A remodeled bathroom will last for 20 plus years so you may very well get old before it does. Age-in-place features make your home more desirable if you ever decide to sell.
Here are a few tips on aging in place:
- Aging is inevitable, so being aware and prepared is smart. Here is a great web site devoted to Aging in Place: http://ageinplace.com
- Lighting should be designed to eliminate hard shadows and illuminate main walkways and task areas
- Replace the toilet with a comfort height one. You won’t believe how much easier it is on the knees
- When doing any remodeling project, keep Aging in Place in mind. It makes the remodeling project a timeless investment
- Hire a designer with Age-in-Place experience. There are great ideas and products that have passed the test of time, and an experienced design professional can make sure your space will work for you as you age.
Let us know if we can help design your home for Aging in Place.