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Active Adults Choose To Stay Home

Savvy Seniors Remodel To Support Age


Are you and active adult with new goals to remain in your own home as long as possible? Today large groups of savvy seniors and smart baby boomers are now remodeling their baths to support “aging in place” well into their advanced years. It’s part of a concept called universal design, which advocates creating living spaces that accommodate people regardless of their age or physical abilities. More and more active older adults are deciding to stay in their homes for the long term, and Susan Duncan RN, president of the ABCs of Accessibility Inc. is saying that more and more design firms specializing in universal design are looking ahead, planting the seeds to make staying at home realistic options.

New features that offer comfort, beauty and elegance to health conscious active adults for bathroom and kitchen designs are not looking anything like the institutional products of the last 50 years. Fortunately, these new types of features from manufacturers like Kohler, can help you stay comfortable while enhancing your bathroom’s beauty and elegance, are promoting new ideas:

  • Adaptable products
  • Remember that bath products must be able to adapt to your changing needs, yet must also be suitable for people of all ages. That’s where the “universal” in universal design comes in.
  • A spacious, curbless shower with a handshower can be a necessity for an older adult using a mobility device or needing assistance. Handshowers with slidebars are even more versatile, as they can be mounted low enough to accommodate both seated and standing users.
  • Considerations for adjustable or customizable cabinets –a vanity cabinet with a removable base or pocket doors can easily allow for a wheelchair. Cabinets and counters wall-mounted on shelf brackets can also be adjusted for height or removed to add space for mobility and easy access.
  • Another option is a beautiful wall-mounted sink. This style works great for aging seniors, since the space can accommodate a wheelchair or other mobility device.
A man showering using a detachable showerhead

Active older adults are deciding to stay in their homes for the long term. Here some additional long term accessibility tips that you may find helpful to begin the process. To help with the diminished depth perception and general eyesight weakening that often comes with age, you may want to consider using contrasting colors for countertops, showers and toilet zones. This will help provide a visual cue to guide users to key areas of the bathroom. Vital non-slip surfaces for floors are clearly going to be the normal requirement. Designers agree that matte-finish tile and honed stone are better choices for bathroom floors than polished surfaces, thanks to their traction, easy maintenance and beautiful looks.

Designing bathrooms with an eye toward the future is a trend that looks likely to grow, as homeowners plan for the needs of their elderly parents and younger people consider remodeling to increase their home’s resale value. If this is something that your family has an option to consider a site evaluation with your Universal Designer can certainly help determine if your house can meet older people’s needs.

Invisible Integration

Did you realize how easy it can be to anticipate your future needs with some very simple choices? Consider accentuating the open space under and around the vanity area with elegant glass countertops, floating drawers and under-sink lighting. Installing side-by-side sinks at two heights can accommodate people of different statures or seated users. Integrate hidden structural changes during renovation to give you the option of adding features later, when you need them. For instance, plywood reinforcements in bathroom walls give you the option of installing grab bars anywhere in the room at any time.

Universal Appeal

A bathroom with a vanity sink and mirrors

Products for this new Universal decor have been designed to be easy to use for everyone, and can offer specific benefits to seniors, particularly those who have problems with their joints or balance. Many leading strong advocate of universal design, point to KOHLER Comfort Height® toilets as a prime examplefor anyone making a decision opt for toilets with this chair-height, which is comfortable for most average-height adults, while helping seniors avoid excessive bending.

Faucets are another important consideration. Expecially with older adults or anyone with arthritis or reduced hand dexterity, could find a smooth, round faucet knob difficult to use. Kohler has a large selection of faucets, including the Purist® bathroom sink faucet with a low gooseneck spout and low-lever handles, that are very very easy to maneuver. What’s more, they’re beautiful–an essential requirement for aging baby boomers.

Access For All

If you are over 50, have arthritus, or are experiencing discomfort in everyday life, you may need just a little more help in the bath. The innovative Elevance® Rising Wall bath offers a fully immersive, authentic bathing experience for people with mobility issues. Yet unlike other, more institutional options, Elevance is attractive and stylish. Kohler’s Bold Independence Customer Service team (1-888-9-BOLD-4U) provides white-glove assistance to guide consumers through the buying process, from initial questions to final installation.

Call us today and schedule one of our qualified staff professionals to meet with you to discuss your current remodel or renovation. Here is our convenient location to serve you: Sun Prairie, WI: 608-837-3638 when you need an expert for all your plumbing needs…Call us today and get started on making changes in your home!

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