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More and more I am being asked to create a bathroom remodel plan that will accommodate EVENTUAL extra needs due to age or disability.
However, I also get,
“But we don’t want it to look like it’s for old people!”
My parents are in their mid-70s and you would never know by their vibrancy and activity level. They’re still go, go, going and thank God are still in incredible health. But even the most active people can be struck with an illness, whether temporary or permanent, that requires assistance.
According to The Messenger, only 10% of homes in the United States are designed to accommodate our aging population.
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Think about it. What comes to your mind when you think “accessible home”? Is it big, chunky, industrial handrails? Sterile pre-fab showers? Ugly and oh-so-obviously-accessible cabinetry?
Aging looks different these days than it did when I was a kid (when everyone over 40 looked SO OLD!) Style is important at any age and it does wonders on mental health to have a safe, comfortable, and aesthetically pleasing place to call home.
There are lots of options today that can allow a home to be accessible AND stunning at the same time. Reputable bathroom fixture companies, such as Kohler and Toto, and even storefront brands, like Pottery Barn, are increasing their ADA product lines!
On a recent project for clients where one spouse may require wheelchair assistance in the near future, my goal was to create a uniform look to the bathroom vanities so there wasn’t a clear difference between the accessible and the standard. Likewise, the water closet is roomy and equipped with grab bars, but they are but subtle additions to a stylish space. These designs have given the spouse an added sense of dignity as their physical abilities have changed over the years.
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Plus, for several years we have made zero-threshold showers a standard (budget-willing) in our bathroom designs and blocked the walls for any eventual need for grab bars.
So, you see, creating an attractive, yet fully functional aging-in-place bathroom is possible! Using a designer (ahem, like GMI Design Group!) is the best way to get a bathroom that will be appropriate now and in the golden years.
Are you ready to get your bathrooms ready to age-in-place? Let us help you!