Home is where the heart is — and that’s exactly the motto many older Americans are beginning to live by. According to AgingInPlace.org, about nine in 10 seniors plan to remain in their homes for the next five to ten years. The Pew Research Center reports that 27% of U.S. adults aged 60 and older live alone in order to “grow older, feel younger.” The number of Americans living to be 85-and-over is on the rise, reaching an estimated 19 million by 2050. Because nearly one-third of elders residing in their own homes live alone, it only makes sense that houses are upgraded to assist individuals with aging in place.
Many home remodels and additions are ideal for creating safe and worry-free environments for older homeowners. Below are a few ideas to get you started.
Slip-resistant or non-slip flooring provides safer surroundings, even when wet. This type of flooring is a safe option for bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms — anywhere that water can be spilled or is not clearly visible.
Depending on your style preference and degree of safety desired, slip-resistant flooring options range from vinyl to linoleum to rubber and many more in between.
It’s easy to add a new bathroom in a convenient place. By using affordable Saniflo above-floor drain pumps and macerators, you can literally situate a new bathroom and it drainage anywhere — in the garage or a reconstructed closet, even under a staircase — wherever your toilet and shower will be more easily accessible. Products like the Saniaccess 3, a macerating pump system for installing a complete bathroom, can simultaneously handle waste water from multiple plumbing fixtures; e.g., not only the toilet, but also the tub or shower, as well as the sink.
Another great Saniflo product to consider is the Sanicompact, a combination of a vitreous china toilet bowl and macerating flush system built into a single, compact fixture that will fit into even the tightest of spaces. Because it is a lower profile toilet, this stylishly shaped product is specially designed for people that have a physical limitation.
When upgrading your existing bathroom, be sure to take measures to minimize the risk of falling. We have already mentioned slip-resistant floors. Another example is a walk-in shower that eliminates the need to take a step up into the space — and possibly tripping.
If you are adding a new bathroom in an easy and accessible location, consider raising the entire bath floor a few inches from the ground level. This removes the need for the shower itself to be on a six-inch platform when installing Saniflo products, such as the Sanishower and Sanibest Pro. It also dispenses with the additional worry of missing your step when you are at your most vulnerable — getting in or out of the shower.
Check out how this recently completed, garage-to-apartment conversion featured a raised bathroom floor and incorporated the Saniaccess 3 macerating toilet system to handle drainage from multiple plumbing fixtures, including a clothes washer in a laundry room adjacent to the bath!
Convenience Within Reach
- Shower Accessories: More great aging-in-place conveniences in the shower stall or tub area include (1) shower benches for resting, relaxing and even storage; as well as (2) strategically positioned grab bars. These accessories offer a practical, yet aesthetically pleasing addition to create a relaxed atmosphere. But attractively designed shower bars can also provide invaluable peace of mind when grabbing onto something solid suddenly becomes necessary.
- Height Adjustments: Kitchens can also be modified to support the aging-in-place process. Lowering countertops and cabinets to a more convenient height can make mealtimes a breeze. No need to search for a stepping stool to reach items stored faraway: Everything can be right at your fingertips.
- Lever Taps: Replacing conventional cross-handle faucets with taps equipped with lever handles is another stylish, but practical upgrade for the home. Ideal for homeowners with joint or muscle stiffness, a simple flip of the lever will turn the water on or off, while another nudge to the right or left will adjust the temperature. You might even consider touchless faucets, a more hygienic alternative that offers even easier activation.
As more Canadians embrace more active and longer lives, their homes and the amenities within them must keep pace as well. Taking proper steps to modify your surroundings, as you gracefully age in the comfort of your home need not be an expensive process. If you’re curious about having a more accessible bathroom, contact the specialists at Saniflo today!