Many people don't think far enough into the future when they are designing their home, and many old homes weren't built with aging senior citizens on the mind.
But now, more and more senior citizens are choosing to stay in their homes as they age, making it hard to get around a small floorspace.
There are a few, but very important, things to consider when you are designing a room fit for senior citizen living.
Bathroom Floor Plan Design For Seniors
Whether you are building a new home or redesigning a mother in-lawsuite floor plan to fit the senior citizen lifestyle, it's important to make sure that the area of the room is big enough to comfortably fit a wheelchair or walker, if needed. The area of the room should accommodate a turning wheelchair.
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Much like the size of the bathroom, you also need to make sure the doorway is wide enough to fit a wheelchair or walker through. Doors should at least be 32 inches wide, but if it's in a hallway then you would need to add an extra 4 inches of width to the door and make sure that there is plenty of turning space in the hallway.
Bathtubs and Showers
Trying to transfer from a wheelchair to a bath or shower can often be dangerous, so it's vital to choose a bathtub that is easy to get into. Several places now sell senior specific bathtubs that have a door that open and closes, so there is no stepping over the tub ledge. They feature seats that sit high so that there is no lowering, and hydrotherapy options to help the skin and muscles.
If a shower is preferred, it's easy enough to install a shower with grab bars, a seat, non-slip flooring, and a door wide enough to comfortably go through. Many showers on the market today feature these options, so it's not hard to find one.
Toilets and Sinks
Designing a wheelchair and walker accessible bathroom doesn't stop with the bathtub. Toilets in the bathroom have requirements for being comfortable when transferring from a wheelchair. Use a toilet that is at least 19 inches high to allow for comfortable transitions, and make sure that securely installed grab bars are installed nearby.
Sinks often need to be changed to conform to requirements of senior citizen living. Most sinks in homes have a base cabinet that doesn't allow for a wheelchair to properly fit under. Removing these cabinets and installing a pedestal style sink will be much more efficient.
It's really no surprise that more people are choosing independent living as they become older. Staying in the homes that they've loved for so long can be a better choice, as long as the accessibility remains to standard. For more information, you can always visit the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines.
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