Aging in Place — the Accessible Bath

 Here’s a question

While you’re active, would you rather stay in the familiar surroundings of your neighborhood or relocate away from your established roots and those you know?

While some are choosing retirement communities, where all residents must be 55 years or older, increasing numbers are remodeling to make it easier to stay home as we age.

Much is made of the term, “Aging in Place”, these days. Many adults are approaching the age where we may not need to work any longer to maintain our lifestyle, while we’re still healthy and active.

Many of us are considering whether to leave our current homes or stay, or we’re deciding between building nearby or going to a “retirement community” that consists only of older folks.

Not too long ago, some clients contacted Southeast Studios, regarding the design of a new home in their rural Georgia community. He’s very fit, in his early 70s, and she’s in her early 60s with progressive conditions that may increasingly limit her mobility.

Both of them are highly independent and want to stay close to family and friends. They have no intention of leaving their home permanently unless medically necessary, so adjusting a few features in their bath design should meet both of their needs for quite some time, going forward. Here’s what we did.

We made sure all the spaces are open enough to be wheelchair-friendly. Even if you’re not in a wheelchair, this can help with mobility. Walkers, crutches, and canes often need a bit more floor space to maneuver, as well. We made sure that certain spaces had at least a 5’ diameter clear area, so it’s easier to turn around. For example, getting into the shower or tub, or transferring to the toilet may require designated space for a chair or walker.

Watch for more pointers on how our architects design to meet the particular needs of our clients, especially making sure that you’ll be able to enjoy your home when you’re in top shape — or even when you aren’t!

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