We came across this article about universal bathroom design in the September issue of the Consumer Reports Magazine and thought you might find it interesting and useful as well. The article tackles an important issue: making a bathroom accessible and senior-friendly without making it look like it belongs in a nursing home. After all, seniors and people with limited mobility often don’t live alone or have an exclusive bathroom. Other family members want to enjoy the bathroom too and not be limited in using it because it was customized for someone else. If you are facing a similar challenge, you should look into aging-in-place bathroom design, also referred to as “visitability,” meaning that everyone will feel comfortable in your home regardless of age. Below are some of the basic principles of the aging-in-place design that you can easily implement in your own bathroom with the help of an experienced Maryland bathroom remodeling professional specializing in accessibility.
- Maximize natural light with windows and skylights.
- Avoid blinding lights and glare.
- Use upward-facing sconces.
- Install night lights in the bathroom and the hallway leading to it.
- Doorways at least 36” wide.
- Lever handles for easier opening.
- Door swinging out, not in.
- Install a curbless shower.
- Add a hand-held showerhead with a hose that’s at least 6 feet long.
- Add a fold-up seat.
- Keep toiletries within reach.
- Open shelves and glass cabinet doors help see what’s inside.
- Use D-shaped drawer pulls instead of knobs.
- Install a countertop with 2 heights for every family member.
- Use a wall-mounted sink to provide leg room for a wheelchair user.
- Install a full-length mirror so that everyone can use it regardless of height.
- Look for slip-resistant tile or vinyl flooring.
- Use grab bars that do double duty.
- Consider a walk-in bathtub.