Aging In Place – Accessible Plumbing Design
As we age our kitchen and bathrooms can become less convenient and more hazardous. Slippery floors, hard to reach faucets and cabinets, poor lighting – all can create real challenges as we age. Thankfully, there are many ways to keep our homes safe and comfortable with plumbing fixtures that adapt to our needs rather the the other way around.
Here are a few plumbing ideas for aging in place.
Accessible Bathrooms For The Elderly and Disabled
For individuals who must be seated, vanities can be designed with knee clearance under fixtures and faucet handles that are closer in range. Plumbing fixtures are available that are operable with one hand, and don’t require a tight grip or turning of the wrist. Careful placement of grab bars in bathtubs and showers can prevent slip and fall accidents.
Permanently fixed shower heads are rarely one-size-fit-all. Newer shower head designs come with a vertical sliding rail system that allows the tallest and shortest members of the household to adjust the shower head to the perfect height.
Comfort Height Toilets
Standard toilets are 14 to 15 inches high from floor to the top of bowl rim. Comfort height toilets have more comfortable heights closer to the height of a chair, from 16 to 17 inches high. The additional height can make it easier with persons having a limited range of motion or back problems.
Slip-resistance is another important consideration for providing safety in bathrooms. Many shower enclosures and bathtubs are now designed with traction surfaces, in both enamel and acrylic finishes.
Finally, good lighting is appreciated by everyone, but is essential for persons with visual impairment. Compact LED fixtures can be placed under cabinets, in showers and bath enclosures to create a well lit space.
Have questions about making your home’s plumbing more comfortable and safer? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing & Air Conditioning. We’re here to help.
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