Planning a Bathroom for Retirement & Beyond

If you intend to remain in your current home when you retire, it's important to plan for your future comfort and safety. It may be best to consider making changes you'll need to make to your bathroom while you're still working, rather than waiting until you retire.

In order to have an effective plan, the possibility of limited mobility or sight should be taken into account. Therefore, ensure you have a full bathroom located on the main level of your home, unless you are planning on installing an elevator or chair lift. It's also vital to allow space for wheelchairs or walkers by utilizing a roll-in shower with no lip, and leaving clear areas to maneuver around fixtures such as the sink or toilet. Appropriate planning will also leave room for a caregiver who may be assisting.

Toilet height is important. This should be chosen by the height and abilities of the people who will be using it, and can be changed with the purchase of a seat extender. The toilet paper holder should be easily reached from a sitting position, and ideally allow for one-handed changing.

In addition to toilet height, an adjustable showerhead height with a hand-held option, in addition to a shower seat can make bathing much easier and safer. Lever handle faucets and a shelf within easy reach for toiletries and towels will help. Make certain the bathroom is well lit by adding a light in the shower. Additionally, walk-in tubs are available for those who desire it.

Textured, easy-grip grab bars can help you to sit and stand with safety in the bathroom, or to get in and out of a shower or tub. They can be installed anywhere for added ease, but will need proper bracing to give safe support.

Consider a wall-hung sink for wheelchair accessibility, which will provide space for knees and chair, and countertops with roll-under access. Putting a contrasting edge on your countertops can help someone with vision or balance challenges, and ensure edges are rounded rather than sharp. Storage including a medicine cabinet should ideally be within reach while seated.

Of course, all flooring should be non-slip or anti-skid, including within the shower or tub. Further, it is recommended that all rugs be removed to prevent tripping or falling. Doors should always open out, or pocket doors can be utilized if space is limited, with levered openers rather than door knobs.

DECOLAV offers an abundance of options for a safe and comfortable bathroom, which can allow you to age in place, and is sure to satisfy even the most discriminating taste. If you would like more information on how DECOLAV can help you plan your retirement bathroom, please visit www.DECOLAV.com today or call us at 866-DECOLAV (332-6528).