Are you planning to age in place, staying in your current home as opposed to downsizing or moving to assisted living? If so, you may want to keep these goals in mind as you remodel over the years. The following tips can help you when it comes to remodeling your bathroom, so that you can have the perfect space now that will also work well for you as you age.
Tip #1: Create more space
Wide doorways and a wider room in general are a necessity. There is always a chance that you will need to use a wheelchair, power chair, or walker to get around at some point as you age. Making sure the doorway and room itself is large enough to accommodate these items is a must. A 30- to 32-inch doorway is sufficient. The room itself, between the fixtures, needs to be wide enough to maneuver a chair when entering and leaving.
Tip #2: Lose the lip
The shower stall shouldn't have a lip or any stepping to access it. Combination tub-showers aren't really suitable for an aging-in-place bathroom. Instead, opt for a lipless or flat-install shower pan. These feature a floor, often made of stone tile, that tilts gently toward the drain so water doesn't get all over the bathroom. These are easy to step into, or even to roll into, as you age.
Tip #3: Take a seat
Safety is important in the shower, which is why you will want a shower seat. If you have a custom surround built, you can have an integrated seat made from the same tile as that on the walls. There are also preformed shower stalls with an included seat. For smaller spaces, consider a flip-down seat model, or even a completely removable seat that can be taken out when it isn't needed.
Tip #4: Raise the bar
You will also need safety bars, both in the shower and by the toilet. These bars are there to provide balance and to also help when it is time to stand back up, so place them appropriately. Bars need to be affixed to a wall stud so they do not pull out of the plaster.
Tip #5: Upgrade your fixtures
Finally, finish off the remodel with the right fixtures. Opt for a pedestal sink or at least one that is open underneath. This way you can easily pull up to it in a wheelchair or use a seat in front of it if necessary. You will also want to install an ADA-approved toilet. These are at a suitable height for use by those in wheelchairs or that have difficulty standing.
For more help, contact a supplier of bathroom items like Trending Accessibility.