As we grow older, our needs and preferences evolve, and our homes should adapt along with us. “Aging in place” refers to the ability to live in your own home safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age or ability level. It allows individuals to continue living in a familiar environment surrounded by their community and loved ones. It also eliminates the need for costly and disruptive moves to assisted living facilities or nursing homes.

Aging in place often involves modifying your home to suit your needs as you age. One of the key areas homeowners should consider when planning for the future is the bathroom — statistically the most dangerous room in the home. What changes do you need to make to your bathroom(s) to ensure that it’s as safe and accessible as possible? 

Key Features of Aging-in-Place Bathroom Design

A well-designed bathroom can significantly impact the quality of life of older adults by making daily routines easier and safer to perform. According to the National Institute on Aging, more than 80% of falls among seniors are in the bathroom caused by slippery surfaces and difficulty getting in and out of tubs and showers.

There are several key features that make a bathroom suitable for aging in place:

Zero or No Threshold Showers

These showers have no curb or step, making them easily accessible for those with mobility issues.

Grab Bars and Handrails

These fixtures offer support and stability when entering or exiting the shower or tub or using the toilet.

Non-Slip Floors

Slip-resistant flooring can prevent falls, a common — and highly dangerous — risk for older adults.

Comfort-Height Toilets

Comfort-height toilets are a few inches taller than standard toilets, making them easier and safer for people with mobility challenges to use.

Adequate Lighting

Good lighting can help prevent accidents and make it easier to perform tasks.

Lever-Style Faucet Handles

These are easier to operate than traditional knobs, particularly for people with arthritis or other hand mobility issues.

Tips for Designing an Aging-in-Place Bathroom

When designing an aging-in-place bathroom, it’s important to consider the future needs of the homeowner. Think about the potential physical challenges you may face in the coming years and plan your bathroom accordingly, ensuring that the design maximizes safety, comfort, and accessibility.

It’s wise to involve a professional in the design and renovation process. They can provide valuable insights and recommendations based on their experience and expertise. 

Cost Considerations for Aging-in-Place Bathroom Design

The cost of renovating a bathroom for aging in place can vary widely based on the scope of the project and the specific modifications required. The key thing to remember is that it’s an investment in your long-term comfort and independence. The ability to stay in your home for longer offers a long list of physical, psychological, and social benefits.

When budgeting for your project, consider both the upfront costs and potential long-term savings, such as enhanced safety and avoiding a move. There are also several financing options available, such as home equity loans or grants for seniors.

Get More Aging-in-Place Tips From Omicelo Health

At Omicelo Health, we’re dedicated to helping homeowners make home modifications that allow residents to age in place comfortably and safely. We can provide guidance for planning, selecting, installing, and financing changes that can make your home more accessible for older adults. 

With our team’s help, aging in place can be more than a far-off goal; it can become a reality ensuring you can live out your golden years in comfort and familiarity. By making strategic modifications, you can ensure your bathroom is safe, comfortable, and accessible, helping you maintain your independence as you age.

Contact us today to talk about your aging-in-place needs.