Baby boomers: Bathroom updates that increase livability and home value
Posted Mar 25th 2013
Baby boomers are a smart group when it comes to home updates. While embracing life today, they fully recognize that in the future, their homes may need upgrades to help them live well and stay safe. The bathroom naturally gets the most attention and for good reason - it's one of the most frequently used rooms in a home and also one with many hazards. Baby boomers are turning towards safer bathing options to support their changing lifestyle including walk- in baths, handicap accessible showers, and other supportive furnishings.
"Baby boomers value being able to live out their golden years to the fullest, and aging in place is a key component of that," says Jim Quinn, installation manager for Premier Care in Bathing. "They are being proactive about making bathroom upgrades now so they can enjoy the benefits for many years to come."
Quinn has helped countless people update their bathrooms to add modern style and comfort so they can age in their current home safely. Here are his top recommendations when upgrading your bathroom while keeping health, comfort and safety in mind.
1. Safe flooring
Cold, slick bathroom floors can be a major slipping hazard. When renovating a bathroom space, it's wise to evaluate the flooring and, if necessary, replace it with an option that is both comfortable and safe. Some people choose to carpet the bathroom because it is warmer and eliminates the slip hazards of traditional hardwood or ceramic flooring, as well as the tripping hazards of rugs. Another option is slip-resistant, textured vinyl. Keep feet comfortable and add an upscale element to your bathroom by incorporating radiant heat underneath.
2. Walk-in bath
Water and heat therapy can be ideal for arthritis and other aches associated with aging, making a bathtub an asset in a home. But as people age, it can be physically difficult to use a traditional bathtub. That's why a walk-in tub is a wise investment. Receiving the Ease-Of-Use Commendation from the Arthritis Foundation, walk-in tubs from Premier Care in Bathing provide baby boomers and seniors with an easy-to-use alternative. The most popular model - the Sanctuary - fits in a traditional bathtub space and has a wide, low-level entry, slip-resistant seat and backrest, temperature-controlled hot water, and a Hydrovescent therapy option. Other walk -in tub options may be ideal based on individual needs.
3. Replace dated hardware
Bathroom drawer handles and knobs are often small and can be difficult to grab with limited dexterity. Add modern style to your bathroom by replacing your existing hardware and accessories with stylish new options that are also easy to grip. Explore hardware options that are large and simple to grab. New hardware is a quick, affordable upgrade that makes a bathroom easy to use for people of all ages while enhancing interior design. While you're upgrading the hardware elements, consider installing grab bars in key locations in the room, such as around the toilet or shower.
4. Update lighting
Any interior designer will tell you that lighting is a key element of a home's style as well as functionality. In the bathroom, lighting is particularly important because it also adds an element of safety. Aging eyes need quality light to see well - so be sure to incorporate task and ambient lighting into your bathroom renovations. Baby boomers often add a dimmer that adjusts bathroom lighting so it can be fully on when showering or getting ready for the day, and then dimmed softly for easy access at night or during long soaks in the Walk-In tub.
"These types of updates are wise investments for baby boomers. They often increase the overall value of a home while also giving the homeowners the peace of mind that they'll be able to enjoy the space well into the future," concludes Quinn.