Aging in Place: Designing Accessible Bathrooms for the Future

More and more homeowners throughout southeastern Wisconsin are planning to age in place. If you’re thinking about aging in place as well, it’s important to plan for the future and ensure your home is designed in a way that meets your changing needs. In particular, the bathroom is a key area to consider in your aging-in-place design plans, as it often poses the most safety and accessibility challenges for individuals who are aging in place. Here’s how to design an accessible bathroom for the future.

Focus on the Bath or Shower First

The first area of the bathroom you should focus on when planning for accessibility is the bath or shower enclosure. A traditional bathtub typically has a high threshold to climb over, and the wet and slippery surfaces can pose a hazard for those with mobility issues. Instead of a traditional bathtub, you may want to consider:

  • A no-threshold shower – A walk-in shower is available in various designs that include low- and no-threshold options. A roll-in shower is ideal for wheelchair accessibility, while a low-threshold shower is easier to enter and exit than a traditional tub.
  • A walk-in bathtub – A walk-in tub is another great option to consider. This bathing enclosure features a door that allows for easy entry and exit with its low threshold as well.

Whether you prefer a bath or a shower, there’s an accessible option that meets your needs. Both types of bathing enclosures can be outfitted with built-in seating, non-slip bathroom flooring, and safety grab bars that offer the enhanced safety and stability you need to bathe in comfort.

Additional Safety and Accessibility Considerations

In addition to ensuring the bath or shower enclosure is a safe and accessible space, there are other design considerations to think about for the rest of your bathroom as well. Our top accessible bathroom design tips include:

  • Grab bars for bathrooms – Grab bars are particularly important in bath and shower enclosures to help you maneuver around tight spaces. However, grab bars can also be beneficial in other areas of the bathroom as well, providing additional stability throughout the entire space.
  • Wider door openings and clearance – A wheelchair-accessible bathroom design may require a wider door opening as well as more clearance space around the tub, toilet, and vanity. Make sure there’s enough space for a wheelchair to maneuver safely throughout the entire space.
  • Accessible height considerations – You may also need to adjust the height of the toilet or the bathroom vanity to make it more accessible and comfortable for aging in place. There are plenty of options available for adaptable bathroom fixtures for aging in place that differ from the standard heights of these fixtures.

Get Started on Your Accessible Bathroom Remodel

At Exterior Pros, we proudly offer aging-in-place bathroom remodel services for homeowners in the greater Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin area. We specialize in wet-area bathroom remodeling services and proudly offer numerous walk-in shower and walk-in tub options to suit your needs. To learn more about our aging-in-place bathroom remodel services or for more accessible bathroom design tips, contact Exterior Pros today.