7 aging-in-place remodeling products with major style
These products are a huge upgrade for senior living
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Few names are as synonymous with the art of making good design accessible as Michael Graves, and perhaps nowhere is this more evident than CVS’s recent partnership with his design house for those aging in place.
The rollout of the aesthetically forward innovations parallels other efforts from designers at American Standard, whose ADA-compliant kitchen and bath offerings match form with function so well guests and family members might not even realize they’re created to meet the needs of an audience with accessibility considerations. Here are some senior friendly home remodeling tips well worth considering.
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For kitchen remodeling
“We have a population that is aging, and most of us desire to do so with as little friction as possible. Our role as designers is to be as inclusive as possible,” says Jean-Jacques L'Henaff, Vice President for Design at Lixil Water Technology America (of which American Standard is a part).
For those aging in place, he recommends updating to a more accessible faucet. The Avery Touchless Faucet from American Standard uses hands-free technology to turn flow on and off, ideal for those with grip issues or arthritis. It’s a small quality-of-life change with big impact.
For bathroom remodeling
“Countless hours” of product testing, says L'Henaff, may “translate into a wider bathtub ledge that makes it easier for someone to sit and assist a person in the tub, or simply be more comfortable for those transitioning into their bath.”
One of his favorite products for seniors is the Town Square S Bathtub from American Standard. Its textured floors reduce risk of injury, and sloped lumbar support makes for a more comfortable bathing experience for long-term care scenarios.
L'Henaff also suggests preventing accidental scalding with faucets that have a Hot Limit Safety Stop. The Studio S 2-Handle Integrated Shower Diverter is a contemporary panel that allows the user to set the temperature at a preferred level and easily transition between water flowing from the bath faucet to the showerhead.
The CVS Health Convertible Shower Chair and Stool by Michael Graves Design is a streamlined option to convert an existing shower into one that’s more aging-in-place friendly. The seat height is adjustable, and the rust-proof frame is also lightweight, so it can be moved into and out of the shower easily to be stored away. There’s also an adjustable shower head holder and towel bar.
For when nature calls
Seat down, the CVS Health 3-in-1 Comfort Commode looks like a contemporary chair that blends into any bedroom setting. Seat up, there’s a removable bucket for those midnight “gotta go” moments. On the second setting, its armrests swing away for improved access when transferring to the seat from a bed or chair. “Several testers mentioned the importance of strength, stability, and security” for aging in place products, says Brenda Lord, Vice President of Private Brands and Quality Assurance at CVS Health.
“As a result, we developed our 3-in-1 commode with a wider, safer seating surface, adjustable armrests for transfers and body access, and a contoured comfort backrest.” The third setting has a removable bucket so the height-adjustable seat rails can fit over the toilet to add stability for users.
For living room remodeling projects
Those with limited mobility are likely to spend more time sleeping in a favorite recliner or armchair, says Lisa M. Cini, founder and CEO of Ohio’s Mosaic Design Studio. She recommends investing in the heavy-duty, ergonomic versions used at senior facilities – which these days are a lot more design-forward than ever.
Cini is a fan of the Samuelson brand. “Samuelson has a patented holder on the back of some of their chairs that looks like a design element, but it’s for a walker. You can hang it there, and also use the holder to pull the chair in and out,” she says. “And, the Samuelson Tilt line has durable fabric and is designed so if someone has an accident or just spills crumbs, you can pull up the seat and easily clean it out.”
For the eyes
The best way to focus on seniors’ safety is to think from the top down, says certified aging-in-place specialist Max Tripodi of RCA Contractors in Florida.
He recommends enhancing ambient lighting, especially with recessed lights. Smart lights can sync with voice-activated devices so seniors don’t have to fumble for a switch in the dark. For people living with arthritis, easy swaps include removing older toggle switches that have a smaller surface to grab in lieu of larger, modern toggle switches.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.