I have a problem and I'm going to admit it freely because it's my own fault.
I wish I has grab bars installed in my bathroom and I'm only 41. Big mistake, HUGE MISTAKE on my part. After having an emergency appendectomy this past Friday it has been anything but comfortable; most especially in the bathroom. I can not (and this is getting personal) sit down or get up off of the toilet without holding onto something for dear life. And showering? Nope. It's a shallow bath, but how on earth do I get in and out of my tub? (We're a 1 bedroom and the tub has to remain.) I do it with help... and I've been sitting on a milk crate. I can tell you this: you never really understand how valuable your core strength is until you can't use it for anything - even if it is for a few days or weeks.
Don't even get me started on trying to reach the bottom rack of the dishwasher - and it's only DAY 2 OF RECOVERY.
GRAB BARS AREN'T FOR SENIORS
They're for everyone
And they're not ugly either. Take this line Invisa Collection out of Ottawa, Canada. They are stylish, don't often look like grab bars, and they hold all the right weight loads that anyone can throw at them.
Also around the toilet, why not incorporate it as a holder.
So maybe it's time for a bit of CMKBD talk in order better understand what I'm referencing, it helps to understand the terminology some design guidelines we use. There are 4 principles of accessibility that we tend to use in interior design:
- Aging In Place - is the principal that we design to never, ever have to move from our home.
- Universal Design - is an idea that all design is accessible for seniors with mobility aids and for anyone with a mobility issue, but it goes much deeper than that. It is the right to access to a bathroom for regardless of ability, gender, physicality, and age types.
- Barrier-free Design - pretty much Universal Design but focuses on the accessibility to living environments for humans with mobility aids and other physical limitations.
- Adaptable Design - is the implementation of design solutions for universal accessibility in a barrier-free environment.
For my purposes, and selfishly so, I'm referring to Universal Design. Every home needs at least one bathroom with 1 grab bar in the shower, 1 grab bar at the toilet, and 1 seat for showering. You simply never know when you're going to need it.
So getting in and out of the shower (if I had a standing shower) would be an issue too, no? Ta da! There is a folding seat for that, but don't worry, Invisa also has a stylish bath bench made from bamboo (this is probably what I need the most right now for quicker recovery.)
You might be thinking "Yeah, I don't want that in my house" and you couldn't be further from the heart of the issue. What if:
- You had surgery and needed support in the shower or toilet?
- Injured any part of your body?
- Have an accident and are using a mobility aid permanently?
- You have a degraded eye prescription and can't visibly see much in the shower?
The point is, if you're considering a new bathroom or a renovated bathroom, always plan for the worst because you never know when you're going to need it. The added costs are minimal, the product is stylish, and any professional designer can guide you along to the right solution for you.