January 4, 2019

Design for the decades

By Nancy Eike

Six ways to make your bathroom beautiful and safe—and help you age in place, gracefully.

We all know the old saying, “there’s no place like home.” But we know those homes, especially the bathrooms in those homes, often pose many safety and health risks. So to help baby boomers, or anyone for that matter, stay in their homes as the years wear on, here are a few bathroom-remodeling tips and tricks to help folks gracefully age in place.

Curb(less) Your Enthusiasm

Showers are a delightful way to start and/or end your day. But for folks with stability issues, or those in wheelchairs, traditional shower spaces aren’t very accommodating—and can actually be a safety issue. Zero-entry or curbless showers offer an alternative with no rim or lip to step over (or possibly trip over) as you enter the shower. And for those in wheelchairs, a curbless shower lets the shower-goer roll right into the shower space.

Quick tip: A shower seat, whether built in or freestanding, is perfect for folks who need a little respite during their shower.

Another tip: Add a hand-held shower for even more convenience.

Grab a Hold

Regardless of a person’s age, it’s always nice to have extra leverage and support while getting in and out of the shower or bathtub. Grab bars and handrails, which now also come in updated styles to fit modern décor, are the best way to ensure that steadiness. Offered in a variety of lengths, these handy and safety-forward accessories are perfect for your bathroom update. And don’t forget about adding a grab bar next to the toilet to help ease the transition from sitting to standing.

Take a Seat

Speaking of toilets, a higher throne is tantamount (and a budget-friendly way) to make sure your bathroom is comfortable and accessible as you move through your years. Opt for a “comfort-height” toilet (16”-18” or higher) instead of a standard height toilet (14”-15”), as the higher toilet requires less leg strength and allows for an easier bathroom trip.

Wash Your Hands

Bending over a sink to wash your hands or face is often difficult, and sometimes an impossibility. A new option, however, is on the market and can be easily worked into a bathroom remodel or re-do: wall-mounted sinks. Not only are these sinks beautiful and come in a variety of styles, but without cabinetry or supporting legs, they’re also very practical because wheelchairs and walkers can tuck underneath; also, many wall-mounted sinks include ample counter-space, so you’ll still have room for your incidentals.

On Firm Footing

It’s no surprise that falls are a big problem in bathrooms. So to combat that quandary, our experts at Xpres Bath & Shower, suggest installing non-slip flooring, such as non-slip vinyl, textured tile, etc. And make sure to get rid of all area rugs, as they can shift and bunch up causing a tripping hazard.

Let There Be Light

Good lighting is essential in keeping everyone safe in the bathroom. In addition to good overhead lighting, light all inner spaces, including the shower, medicine cabinet, linen cupboards, etc. You can also add an auto-sensor nightlight so no more midnight fumbling in the dark for the light switch.

To learn more about our aging-in-place remodeling services, or to schedule a bathroom remodeling consultation, contact us online or call us at 763-392-0111.

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