When undertaking a bathroom remodel, it’s important to think about the future. Bathroom remodels of any kind are investments — of time, commitment, and finances. And if you’re planning to stay in the same home as you age, it’s even more important to make the best use of your bathroom space and get the most “bang for your buck” when remodeling. Since most senior adults hope to stay in their own homes as they age, here’s are some ways to ensure that your bathroom remodel is designed to meet those future needs while still feeling fresh and sophisticated.
SHOWERS AND BATHTUBS
There are a variety of options for senior-friendly showers and tubs. Two that we most often recommend are zero-threshold showers and the Hydro Systems walk-in bathtubs. Zero-threshold showers keep the bathroom floor even with the shower floor, so it’s easier to enter and exit the shower. Similarly, walk-in tubs offer a lower step-in height, reducing the risk of falling as well. The Hydro Systems line offers models with built-in grab bars for safety and jets that are ideal for muscle relaxation. Both the low-threshold showers and walk-in tubs can help create a luxurious yet safe addition to a bathroom.
If you remodel with a low-threshold shower, there are also a variety of shower accessories that are wonderful for aging in place. An adjustable and removable showerhead makes it easier to reach if movement becomes more difficult. And adding a bench in the shower is a nice option for added stability and balance or as a place to take a break from standing while showering.
Another shower option our showroom consultants often recommend is a Mr. Steam shower. Steam showers are thought to offer a variety of health benefits including improved circulation, respiratory health, and muscle flexibility. Use the steam shower for health benefits and relaxation now and later as you age in your home. They help create a luxurious feel in any bathroom.
When considering your bathroom’s vanity, height is of utmost importance with regard to aging in place. Your Bender Showroom Consultant will assist you in determining the correct height for you and your space, but higher is likely better so that you can avoid bending and stooping in the future. Similarly, we recommend choosing drawers over cabinetry since low cabinets may become more difficult to access than higher drawers. With regard to balance and stability, a larger vanity is likely to feel safer than a small pedestal that is more difficult to lean against.
A heated toilet seat is simple upgrade with a large payoff. It will feel like a luxury now and will be beneficial for sore muscles later. We recommend paying attention to height with regard to your toilet selection too. Higher toilets require less balance when moving onto and off them, which is a smart choice for an aging senior. And there are plenty of toilet styles and options available now that will fit any décor style that will age with you.
Bender’s bathroom tile selection is vast — we offer countless options in assorted colors, textures, shapes, and styles. If you’re selecting a new tile floor for a bathroom remodel that you plan to utilize as you age, we recommend choosing an option that isn’t known to be very slippery or slick. For example, a glossy marble in a large cut may not be the best choice for you. Rather, small tiles that utilize more grout in their design may offer more texture under foot. Alternatively, a textured tile may also add some traction to the bathroom floor. In short, we recommend choosing an option that offers a nice amount of “grip.”
Another relatively simple addition to a bathroom in which you plan to age in place are grab bars. Best placed in areas that require balance — like a shower or bathtub or beside a toilet — grab bars are an easy way to add another safety element into the bathroom. Many Hydro Systems walk-in tubs already include grab bars, and they can be easily installed to your low-threshold shower’s design as well.
If aging in place is on your horizon and you’re contemplating a bathroom remodel, we recommend considering these items for your bathroom’s design. As always, at Bender, our design consultants will work with you to ensure that all of your needs — both current and future — are met.