The bathroom is the most dangerous room in your home. Water against waterproof surfaces can be slips waiting to happen. Bathtubs and toilets can set you up for a fall. And these potential hazards affect everyone at any age. You can reduce the risk of slips and falls by rethinking your bathroom design.
What to Call a Safe and Efficient Bathroom
A bathroom that works safely and efficiently can be termed ergonomic. In the design and remodeling field, this type of bathroom is called accessible for aging homeowners, or universal when intended for multiple generations. But whatever the label, they function the same and make life easier for everyone who uses it.
If tomorrow you were to break your leg, you would face the same challenges as an elderly person on a walker when it was time to use a non-accessible bathroom. To shower, both of you would have trouble navigating up and around a bathtub lip, and standing for the length of a typical shower would be difficult. Oh, and both of you would have extra equipment (crutches or a walker) that requires extra space.
Any of us could suddenly have a temporary incapacity so wouldn’t it be nice if all bathrooms were designed to be accessible? And if you’ve ever used a comfort-height toilet, you quickly comprehend that it’s simply easier to use than a standard height toilet, so why don’t we make them the new universal standard?
The Cost of a Non-Accessible Bathroom
The price of an accessible bathroom remodel varies based on which features you choose. It can be as inexpensive as parts plus labor to install a grab bar in the shower, or a substantial investment for a design-build remodel of a master bathroom.
But do consider the cost of medical bills for an accident, and how much you would spend out of pocket to quickly convert your bathroom for accessibility. Also understand that an accessible bathroom is just as much for the caregiver as for the one needing care.
No matter your age or stage of life, if you intend to remain in your home for decades, now is the time to get a universal design bathroom. Think ahead about what features will help your home age with you, and get the long-term and re-sale value of a bathroom that will accommodate everyone of every age in every circumstance.
Anti-Slip & Fall Bathroom Design Features
Your optimal bathroom will have an efficient design that easily adapts to your needs and safety at every stage of life. Key features include:
• Grab Bars in the shower and by the toilet
• Walk-In shower with bench seating and hand-held shower head (shown above)
• Non-slip surfaces, like textured flooring
• Storage at varying heights
• Comfort-height toilet
• Countertops at standing and seating heights
• Doorway a minimum of 36” wide with zero-clearance
The photos above show a completely accessible bathroom by Mosby Building Arts. Note the soap dish in the shower, the towel rack and toilet paper dispenser, and know they all do double-duty as grab bars. See more photos of this bathroom.That’s the beauty of having Mosby designers certified in accessible and universal design create for you a bathroom that will last a lifetime. Learn more about Mosby’s accessible design services. For your own safe and efficient bathroom, call the Mosby office at 314.909.1800 or contact them here.