Aging in Place
May 23, 2018
Aging in place is a growing trend in Canada and many Canadians are beginning to treat home renovations as an ideal opportunity to future proof their homes. Aging in place is about creating spaces where you can live safely for as long as you’re able. The earlier you start thinking about the accessibility of your home, the more confident and prepared you will be to handle changes in mobility, sight and overall health.
If you’re considering a renovation or remodel, it’s important that you think about your future needs as much as your current needs. You may not need grab bars in your shower now, but in the years to come they could be a vital safety precaution. If you want your renovation to last 10 or more years, it’s worth investing a little extra time and money on these added details. Design elements like a zero-clearance shower threshold, grab bars that look like decorative towel bars or additional lighting can easily be added into a renovation project. These kinds of adjustments may also increase the resale value of your home.
It’s also important to know that creating a safe, accessible and functional space doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice style. The increase in demand for aging in place within your home means there are new and exciting products on the market: grab bar that look like decorative towel bars, timed lighting that’s completely concealed and pre-made acrylic shower bases often have seats already built in.
Here are some other things that you’ll want to consider for future proofing your home:
- Use textured porcelain tile and avoid high shine tiles or flooring surfaces that can contribute to slipping
- Design a shower with no threshold to allow open access or wheelchair access
- Install grab bars around sinks, toilets, bathtubs and showers. If you are set against installing them now, install the backing behind the drywall during your remodel. This way you can add them at any time. Be sure to note where the backing is placed for future reference.
- Install raised toilets that are “comfort height.” Kohler wellworth is a great and affordable option. Or consider the Kohler Veil wall hung toilet that also makes cleaning a breeze.
- Install low height bathtubs (under 15 inches) such as the Kohler Villager
- Install lever handle faucets and tub fillers to ensure that turning them off and on can be done easily
- Make sure that cabinetry has handle pulls instead of knobs
- Create a dressing area or place for sitting in the bathroom
- Install touch less faucets
- Purchase a shower seats – these can be built in or portable
- Think accessible kitchen storage such as keeping plates in holders in drawers vs. upper cabinets.
- Place at comfortable heights to reduce back bending such as microwave drawers, warming drawers and wall ovens.
- Integrate cabinetry drawers instead of cabinet doors.
- Install Electronic lifts for cooktops and kitchen sinks that are controlled by push button or remote
- Incorporate multi-level countertops or seated areas for food preparation.
- Install touchless faucets, such as the Kohler Sensate
- Incorporate electronic opening cabinetry door systems so that you can lightly tap the door to open. This is especially useful if the space does have upper wall cabinetry.
- Electronic window coverings that are controlled by a remote control.
To incorporate added functionality into your home that will allow you to age in place, work with a qualified interior designer to ensure your space meets both your current and future needs. And make sure to choose home products that blend style, functionality, and durability to increase the longevity of your space.