Guest Blog by Kent Elliot
A 2016 report published by Home Advisor revealed that a majority of aging Americans — 61 percent, in fact — want to age in place rather than seek a place in an assisted living or some other senior facility. The 2016 report indicated that seniors want to remain at home to be near their families or to maintain their independence. However, in many cases, aging in place is only possible with home modifications that allow older adults to care for themselves, or which make it easier for another to provide assistance. Modifications are often necessary to aid mobility, accessibility, and safety so a senior can remain at home with minimal risk of injury.
Accessibility modifications include widening doorways to at least 36 inches to accommodate a wheelchair, which can be an expensive modification. However, for those on a budget, the addition of expandable door hinges can do the job at a fraction of the cost. Hallways may also require widening. For seniors in a wheelchair or who need a walker, an accessibility ramp may be necessary if there are stairs leading to the front entryway. Also, thick rugs and carpeting present a mobility challenge for wheelchairs, as can uneven transitions between rooms, which may require the use of durable transition ramps.
The bathroom is definitely the most dangerous room for seniors, regardless of age or condition. More seniors fall in the bathroom than in any other part of the home, and as such, it requires extensive safety modifications to protect seniors from being seriously injured in a room where moisture and slick, hard surfaces present a constant threat. This is why grab rails, roll-in tubs, or zero-entry showers (with a place to sit) are also important for mobility-challenged seniors.
Other important bathroom modifications should include an elevated toilet seat and safety rails alongside to avoid falls. Also, don’t forget to lay a skid-resistant mat in front of the toilet, especially if the bathroom floor is covered in tile or laminate. Replace door knobs with levers, which are easier for an older adult to use, particularly in dim lighting where vision and one’s grip are less confident. Install a roll-under sink that’s low enough for a wheelchair, and make sure there’s enough space in the bathroom for a wheelchair to maneuver without difficulty.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a bathroom space should be 30 inches by 48 inches to accommodate a wheelchair. (In Lane County, Oregon, contact our team at Fort Rock Construction about making bathroom modifications in your home.)
It’s a fact of life that one’s eyesight diminishes with age. That can be a dangerous situation for an older adult who wants to age in place because dimly light hallways and rooms with light switches that are difficult to find or reach present a significant safety threat. In general, white bulbs that don’t create glare are good options in poorly lit locations, while motion sensors may be the best idea for seniors who get confused at night and have trouble finding light switches. LED night lights in the bathroom, hallway, and bedroom are also smart preventative measures.
Seniors who are able to age at home are more optimistic and tend to be more physically and socially active than those who need help with day-to-day living. That’s an important factor when you consider the potential impact of an aging Baby Boomer population on the country demographically, politically, and economically. The number of Americans age 65 and over will double by 2050, a group with the potential to have a positive and lasting effect on society.
Whether you have a person living in your home who uses a wheelchair or if you are needing modifications because you plan to age in place, there are a handful of key things to keep in mind for an accessible bathroom remodel.
Before you start drawing up plans, you want to take careful consideration of the following questions:
Once you have some answers to these questions, it's time to start planning. Items requiring plumbing should be tackled first because these are often the most difficult and costly items to change. You'll want to make sure to get these right before you settle on all of the other accessibility details.
Accessible bathing items:
Accessible sink and vanity items:
Accessible toilet items:
Accessible lighting items:
General accessibility safety items:
When it comes to accessibility bathroom remodels, Fort Rock Construction is the company to call. We are certified aging in place exerts and have extensive accessibility remodeling experience for both residential and commercial spaces throughout the Eugene-Springfield area. Give us a call today to discuss your project at 541-767-1611.
When it comes to accessibility, few rooms are as important as the bathroom. This is a space we spend time in every single day and having it right for our individual needs makes a difference. If you have accessibility needs, this becomes even more important. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are looking to create an accessible bathroom in your home or place of work.
Doorways — To accommodate walkers, wheelchairs, and other assistance devices, you will want to widen any doorways to no less than 36 inches. This provides ample room for a person to enter the bathroom with ease.
Pull Handles vs. Knobs — Along with a wider doorway, change out traditional doorknobs for pull handles. This enables those who have difficulty gripping or turning knobs to securely open and close the door.
Levered Faucets — Similar as with the doorknobs, you will want to replace sink and shower knobs with levered faucets. These types of devices are more comfortable for those with accessibility issues to use.
Light Switches & Latches — Wherever possible, look for ways to lower the height of light switches and latches so those who are in wheelchairs can reach them more easily. The standard height of 48 inches for light switches is the maximum height for ADA compliance. Lowering switches to a height between 15-42 inches complies with ADA standards and makes accessibility easier.
Counter Height — Just as other items in your bathroom are lowered to accommodate accessibility needs, so should your counters. Ideally, not only should the counters be lowered, but they should also have open space below such that a wheelchair can roll up and have room for leg space. Ideal height for wheelchair accessible counters is approx. 34 inches.
Grab Bars — Grab bars are essential for those who need help transitioning from a wheelchair to or from a toilet, as well as for safety in and around tubs and showers. Be sure to have these installed securely so they can withstand the pressure of a person's body weight.
Showers/Tubs — If your bathroom has a shower or tub, look to modify the space with either a roll-in shower or a walk-in tub. Also, plan to add a seat in your shower designed specifically to help with accessibility. The decorative seats provided in most pre-formed shower inserts are not sufficient.
If you would like assistance with any of these bathroom accessibility modifications, please give the team at Fort Rock Construction a call today at 541-767-1611. We are certified accessiblity experts and have been serving the Willamette Valley since 2001.
If you’re considering a remodel for your home, you’ll want to keep your storage needs in mind. Whether its a kitchen or bathroom remodel, it’s easy to get swept up in style of the room vs. the functionality. Planning ahead to add storage into your design makes the space more useful for you now and helps if you later decide to sell. Here are a few ideas for bringing more storage into your kitchen or bathroom remodel.
Cabinets today are not bound by the same restrictions of generations past. Today’s cabinetry comes with a wide range of storage solutions designed with ease of access. In the kitchen, for example, you can get cabinets with large drawer systems to store your pots and pans and other countertop appliances. Now, instead of getting on your hands and knees and stretching to the back of the cupboard, you can pull open the drawer and your items are right there for you. Built-In lazy susans and retractable shelving systems are available for the typically underutilized corner spaces, too.
In the bathroom, look for cabinets that make good use of the space around the sink plumbing. Often this space is ignored and you’re left with a big awkward space. A simple solution to make the most of the space under the sink is to bring in sliding organizers like those typically seen in your office. You can fill each one with like items and simply pull out the one you need. Ideas include filling one with cleaning items, one with hair styling items, one with hygiene products, etc. You can also buy expandable shelves that fit around the plumbing.
Shelving can help when you need certain items easily accessible on a regular basis. Think about places where this might occur most often such as near the kitchen sink or stove, the kitchen island, the bathroom sink, and the bathtub. Look for shelving that complements the design of your cabinetry to create a consistent style. Also, make sure the shelving you select gives you enough depth for holding a variety of items so you’re not limited on what you can display.
When it comes to storage, seating isn’t often the first thing considered but there is lots of space that can be used. A couple easy ways to add storage include selecting benches or chairs with lift tops. You can easily store less frequently used items here like seasonal table place settings and tablecloths, booster cushions for younger guests, etc. You can also look at choosing barstools that nest or tuck under your countertop. This makes your space more streamlined and creates an open feeling.
Popular in older homes and making a comeback in newer homes, built-ins offer great storage and functionality. Whether it’s pocket storage in the bathroom walls for your perfumes, makeup, shaving goods, etc. or a built-in buffet in your dining area for your China and serving dishes, every inch is available for your use in a beautiful and stylish way.
At Fort Rock Construction, we’ve been helping homeowners in the Eugene, Oregon area with kitchen remodels and bathroom remodels since 2001. Please contact us at 541-767-1611 today to see how we can help you, too.
Thinking of starting a bathroom remodel in your Eugene, Springfield, or Cottage Grove home? The bathroom may be small, but it's one of the most important rooms in your house.
Did you know that there are buyers out there who will settle on a home based solely on how dynamic the bathroom looks? That's why it's a good idea to make sure that your bathroom remodel has some influential elements that will last a long time.
Remodeling a bathroom takes expertise. A complete bathroom remodel needs to be handled by a skilled, general contractor; someone with experience.
Home DIY stores make it look as if you can do all of the remodeling in your home by yourself. That usually is not the case. A small kink in the works can lead to a major problem that you may not be qualified to fix..
Here are some tips for bathroom remodels:
Talk out your plans with a qualified home remodeler, like Fort Rock Construction, today. You will find we have lots of ideas for your home because we have both the experience and design skills to visualize changes. Plus, we've just about seen everything you can imagine when it comes to bathroom remodels. If you live in the Eugene, Springfield, Cottage Grove or surrounding area and you want your bathroom remodel completed quickly, within budget, and without damage or fuss, give us a call at 541-767-1611 for advice and assistance.
For most people, the bathroom is one important room early in the morning and again, late at night. This is where you start your day and isn't it nice to know that you do it in style? If you've been thinking awhile about re-decorating your bathroom, now is the time to call your remodeling contractor.
For bathroom remodels, there's nothing trendier than a great bathroom sink. Gone are the days when you had to make do with a box cabinet complete with the standard sink. Now, your options for a new bathroom sink might leave you awestruck.
Trends in bathroom sinks
Bathroom sinks can be a standout feature in your home. Call Fort Rock Construction, your Eugene area home remodeler, today to make your bathroom look great! 541-767-1611
Have you considered creating a more contemporary bathroom but are unsure where to start? It’s difficult to understand exactly where you can add bathroom accessories without it seeming like “a bit much”. At the end of the day, all you want a new, clean look without overdoing it. Here are some modern examples of bathroom accessories you can add at an affordable cost.
Tricks of the construction trade, inspiration for your next project, and highlights of completed projects.