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Aging in Place Means Bathroom Accessibility

Aging in Place Means Bathroom Accessibility

By 2030, 71.5 million individuals or 20% of our population will be age 65 or older and 82% of them are looking to age-in-place. Bathroom accessibility and adaptability continue to be a growing trend among homeowners who envision staying in their homes as long as possible. And contractors who offer bath renovations are becoming more aware of modifications and design elements to accommodate that growing trend and are using it as a competitive advantage.

What Are People Looking For?

In the bath, consumers are embracing wall-hung toilets, bidets and bidet seats more than ever before. Generational demographics may also be driving this shift. Millennials’ focus on wellness could motivate the push towards bidets for their health benefits, while baby boomers may opt for this European standard as a retirement-friendly perk.

Taller toilets, from 17 to 19 inches off the floor, like Mansfield’s SmartHeight, Kohler’s Comfort Height or DXV Right Height is a more comfortable height for everyone. Ease of use also is enhanced by flushing with just a wave of the hand or a push of a button, available from several manufacturers.

Kohler Veil - AGING IN PLACE MEANS BATHROOM ACCESSIBILITYKohler has enhanced the popular Veil Intelligent Toilet with new features, including ComfortHeight/ADA compliance. The new Veil model offers heated seat, touch screen remote, cleansing functionality with adjustable temperature, pressure and position, an LED nightlight as well as a new optimized pump for assisted flush.

Geberit SystemA feature for those who have compromised flexibility is the toilet off the floor, which opens up the entire floor for easy cleaning. A damp mop takes care of it all. Geberit’s in-wall systems conceals the tank behind the wall and the bowl is raised off the floor. Because the toilet tank is hidden behind the wall, the decorative flush plate attached to the wall is the only visible component of the Geberit system. This provides a sleek, modern look and improves hygiene by streamlining bathroom cleanup.

Shower Enhancements for Bathroom Accessibility

An enlarged walk-in shower with a bench seat and recessed niches meets the needs of all generations.

Moen Slide Rail - AGING IN PLACE MEANS BATHROOM ACCESSIBILITYA handheld shower with a slider bar can accommodate both those who need to sit in the shower as well as those who can stand. Moen’s Annex Shower Rail System works with any shower valve, shower arm, showerhead or handshower. It features a built-in, two-function diverter to switch from showerhead to handshower.

AmStan Spectra e touchFurthering ease of use, manufacturers continue to develop showerheads that can be controlled by voice or touchscreens. American Standard offers the Spectra+ eTouch showerhead, which includes a remote control to mount on any shower surface, providing a stylish, ergonomically designed solution for users who have difficulty reaching the showerhead due to age, height or mobility restrictions.

U by MoenU by Moen is a next-generation Wi-Fi/cloud-based digital shower, providing homeowners with three choices to control the shower: voice activation, smartphone app and an in-shower controller. To activate U by Moen shower, users can ask their voice assistant to remotely start and stop the shower with the sound of their voice. Once they have created personalized presets in the U by Moen app, homeowners simply state the name of the preset within the command.

GROHE Smart Control - AGING IN PLACE MEANS BATHROOM ACCESSIBILITYThermostatic or anti-scald control can protect both adults and children. GROHE SmartControl is also equipped with GROHE TurboStat® technology. A turn of the knob delivers preferred water temperature to the user within fractions of a second and keeps the temperature consistent for the duration of the shower. A SafeStop button prevents users from inadvertently raising the water temperature to more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit and GROHE CoolTouch technology removes the risk of scalding by preventing the exposed metal surfaces from heating up.

Kohler Elevance - AGING IN PLACE MEANS BATHROOM ACCESSIBILITYWhile master bath remodels continue to be dominated by vast shower spaces, walk-in tubs can provide a soothing, healing experience. To that end, Kohler offers the Elevance Rising Wall bath and American Standard offers walk-in air baths, walk-in whirlpools, and combo massage tubs.

Grab bars – of course – around toilets and tubs, are not only functional for bathroom accessibility but beautiful, too. Manufacturers such as Jaclo, Rohl, Moen and Kohler offer grab bars in a variety of finishes and styles.

Faucet Technology

Compel - AGING IN PLACE MEANS BATHROOM ACCESSIBILITYChanging out the faucet controls to levers make it easy to turn on and off. Or even better are motion activated faucets and soap dispensers. For example, Delta’s Touch20.xt technology activates the flow of water with a simple touch anywhere on the faucet and/or via intuitive, hands-free proximity sensing when the hand moves close to the faucet. When paired with TempSense Technology, an LED light at the base of the faucet changes from blue to magenta to red, visually indicating the temperature of the water to the user.

Up Your Game with Certification

Plumbers who want to enhance their knowledge in bathroom accessibility can become a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS). The CAPS program from the National Association of Home Builders and the AARP trains remodeling contractors, architects, and designers in home modifications that address current needs as well as what they will need in the future so they can continue living independently in their homes longer.