Posts Tagged ‘Universal Design bathroom’
Lifetime Home Survey
I was on a mission and took six months developing the Lifetime Home Survey (LTHS), which was born of a single negative comment following a post class, feedback form. Without ever knowing his name, I still picture the disgruntled attendee with arms crossed, an engineering type who frowned the entire presentation.
His comment? “Didn’t give specific measurements!” I purposely avoided getting technical to reduce the likelihood of audience slumber; but, after reading Mr. Unhappy Engineer’s feedback, I vowed, “Metrics you want, measurements thou shall get!”
Call me obsessive compulsive but, with Mr. Unhappy Engineer’s scowl burned into my mind, what began as a simple checklist grew (out of control?) into a whole house assessment. I referenced 17 documents and architect teammate Charles Hendricks proofread the final product, what we believe to be THE most comprehensive Universal Design home assessment resource currently available on the web.
Spray Any Way
Maintain control and boost safety in the shower area, by including, not only seating (preferably built-in), but also point-of-use and multi-functional fixtures and grab bars. Avoid reaching, stooping or any strained movement which could cause loss of balance.
The shower head deserves careful consideration despite seeming like a natural place to save money. Don’t go cheap on this, flawless top performance is worth the extra expense, so too is low hassle cleaning (by spraying down the shower area). Ideally, get a fixed shower head that includes on a vertical slider bar an easy grasp, detachable handheld with a 6-foot flexible hose. (Look for wands with an on/off switch.) The single lever, water control should be mounted near the shower entry and 40 to 45 inches from the finished floor (43 inches preferred).
Slip-sliding, No Way!
Look at the picture. What is it? Any guesses? What if I told you it supports 250 pounds? Give up? That soap dish a grab bar. Would you have known if I hadn’t told you?
That’s the essence of Universal Design, done well it’s unnoticed. One of the main objections about installing grab bars, “It’ll make my bathroom look like a hospital or nursing home” is simply misperception based on where most people first saw grab bars (i.e. hospitals and nursing homes!). Because of aging Boomers, every major manufacturer of kitchen and bathroom fixtures carries a designer, universal line so these aren’t Granny’s grab bars.
As I’ve assisted my young children “go potty” the past few years, I’ve often thought, “I sure hope they never have to return the favor.” You understand if you’ve been injured or cared for someone with a mobility challenge.
Do you take for granted using the bathroom privately without assistance or struggle? (I’m afraid most do.) Ensure you’ll maintain control through any life circumstance by planning enough space and features (e.g. grab bars, position of toilet paper holder) to enable access to and around the toilet, which includes potential transfer on your own from and returning to a seated position (chair).