Aging In Place: The Bathroom Story



Small Bath, Easy Access
Small Bath, Easy Access

My specialty is bathrooms kitchens, which have a whole list of accommodations to make them easier to use for Seniors people with mobility problems, or people with degenerative disease like MS. From the first bath remodel I did, for a wonderful retired man who lost a leg bicycle riding up Montara Mountain, near my home, till now, the largest percentage of my remodels of baths have been for people Aging in Place or with special needs. The key to a good bath remodel for living comfortably at home are several:

a)      Unless you really need it, get rid of the tub. An open, walk-in shower with ADA accessibility (36” wide entrance no built up sill, just a small 1 ½” ‘bump” to keep the water in, gives you the most comfortable access. Allow the room to be a ‘wet room’ with porcelain tile made for shower floors in both the shower area the rest of the room. There are so many beautiful choices!

b)      Move the shower controls to the rear of the shower, so you can access them before entering the actual wet shower area. This way, you know the water is the right temperature for you before getting in, you can step away from the shower turn it off.

c)       Build in a small seat or bench for sitting. Or else, get a sturdy, moveable teak bench for the shower.

d)      Use a h shower instead of a fixed shower head for ease of access. You can lift it, wash your body hair easily, or leave it in place at a fixed height that is just perfect for you.

e)      Use a separate cabinet for storage, leave the area under the sink free clear in the event you are in a wheel chair or walker, so you can get close to the sink.

f)        Mount a single-pole (one-lever) faucet near the side of the sink to make it easy to reach.

g)      Choose a comfort-height, ADA certified toilet that is elongated in size.

h)      Mount a magnifying mirror on the wall so you can pull it towards you for shaving, applying makeup or other personal care tasks.

i)        Place a storage cabinet with a “garage” on the countertop for storing towels other supplies at an easy-to-access level, instead of having everything below the counter in drawers or cupboards.

There are so many creative ways to make the room not only functional, but beautiful.  I look forward to engaging with you to build your easy living interior!