Archive for Age In Place

Aging in Place: Bathroom Accessibility

Planning to age in place could mean home renovations are necessary.  Probably the most important renovation if you own a two-story home is having a bathroom on the first or lower level of the home.

If there is a bathroom on the first level, or you need to add a bathroom, there are things you’ll need to consider:

  1. Is there space on the lower level to put a bathroom? – You’ll want to ensure that not only is there enough space for the room itself, but that plumbing and electric work can be completed in that area.
  2. Is there adequate space to move around? – If you use a cane, wheelchair or walker, is there enough room to move through the bathroom without risk of causing you to trip and fall?
  3. Grab Bars – Especially at the toilet, grab bars can help with standing and sitting to help keep balance and prevent falls. You’ll also need grab bars around the shower area to help keep balance when getting in and out of the tub or shower.
  4. Accessible Shower – Most homes have tubs and showers that are not accessible for someone with mobility issues. As you age and need help with mobility, a walk-in shower can make a big difference in preventing falls.  Grab bars, shower seats and adjustable shower heads can make a huge difference in maintaining your independence and preventing falls.
  5. Walk-in Bathtub – Since it can become increasingly difficult to step into a traditional bathtub, walk-in tubs are another great alternative if you prefer baths instead of showers. There are a variety of walk-in tubs on the market that can replace your existing tub or be added to your new bathroom.
  6. Accessible Toilet – The height of your toilet can make a huge difference in assisting you with sitting and standing. If the toilet is too low, a balance issue could cause you to miss the toilet and fall.  Adding a toilet with better height can be more comfortable and safe as you age.

Aging in place does come with a lot of considerations, particularly with your bathroom.  Your contractor can help you choose an area of your home to add a bathroom as well as discuss options to help prevent falls and keep you in your home longer.

Aging in Place – The Latest Trends in Home Renovation

001_seniorsThe Center for Disease Control defines aging in place as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.”

Many senior citizens prefer to remain in their homes and not have to enter a nursing home or move in with a family member…at least not until they absolutely have to. In order to make this happen, your home made need renovations or modifications to ensure it is a safe place for you to live.

In the common household, there exist many risks for injury to older adults which impacts their capability to successfully age in place. Among the greatest threats is falling. According to the CDC, the leading cause of injurious death among older adults is falls. This makes fall prevention crucial to one’s ability to age in place.

Some common features in an everyday household that create possible dangers could be the lack of support in the shower or bathroom, inadequate railings on the stairs, loose throw rugs and obstructed pathways. Some modifications to your home can greatly decrease the risk of falling or other forms of injury.

Examples of home modifications include increased lighting, ramps, railings, grab bars, nonskid flooring, stair lifts and walk-in bathtubs. Other modifications can be made as well depending on your home and anticipated needs. Also, for multiple story homes, a first floor bathroom and/or bedroom may be added to your home.

Speaking to a good contractor can help you decide the specific needs and make plans for your home. Depending on your specific home, recommendations can be made to help you stay in your home longer.