80% of people over 50 wish to remain in their own homes indefinitely, according to AARP. The National Association of Home Builders defines Aging in Place as “living in one’s home independently regardless of age or ability.” Key factors to think about when renovating your home for aging in place are reduced vision, mobility and strength. To address reduced mobility, you may want to plan for a first floor master bedroom with an adjoining master bath. Providing light from multiple sources can assist your vision. Using contrasting colors on different surfaces -- such as counters and floors -- aids your depth perception. As you age, you may need to sit and rest while performing daily routines, so it's helpful to have seating options near those activities you generally do while standing.
At my recent class at Kohler’s Bathing University, we reviewed some good bathroom design characteristics for aging in place. Kohler has responded to the needs of this population through extensive research and has developed the innovative Elevance™ rising wall bath. This tub is engineered to meet
guidelines and provide a soaking experience. One wall of the tub can be raised and lowered with one hand and locks into place with two watertight seals. Kohler did not sacrifice esthetics -- this tub also looks good. Design features include a waterfall fill, integrated storage ledge, and an integral grab bar. Kohler’s website features an elegant, attractive bathroom incorporating this tub and additional accommodations to “age in place.” ADA