If you or a loved one plan on aging in place . . . here are a few things you should know.
- There should be a bathroom on the main floor. A bathroom located where the senior spends most of their time means they can avoid using the stairs.
- Bathrooms should be large enough to accommodate someone using a cane, a walker or even a wheelchair. Doorways should be at least 32 inches wide to allow a wheelchair passage.
- For some seniors, standard bathtubs are difficult to get in and out of safely. At the very least, replace shower doors with shower curtains and apply a non-slip surface to the bottom of the tub or shower. A tub seat or chair makes using the tub easier.
- A shower should be low threshold or no-threshold, to allow a wheelchair to roll in. Stepping over a high curb can be a problem for some seniors.
- Faucets should be lever type, as they are easier to operate. Replace a standard faucet with one that has an anti-scald valve. These prevent the user from getting water hot enough to scald or burn.
- Ah, grab bars. Everyone’s friend. Have a reliable contractor install these, as they must be attached to the sturdy wall studs behind the gyp board, in order to be secure if someone grabs it as they slip or start to fall.
- Use bright, clear lighting, with a minimal amount of glare. Plan on a ceiling fixture or fixtures to provide general room lighting, but have task lighting installed around sinks, tubs and showers.