“Home is where you feel at home and are treated well.” – Dalai Lama
The word “home” is short and simple, but it carries immense meaning. It’s a place where you feel welcomed and truly comfortable; a place you know intimately from top to bottom. That’s why turning a house into a true home is so important. Every person’s needs will be different, but they are all equally valid and vital in creating an excellent quality of life, now and in the future.
At MyLifetimeHome™, we specialize in exactly that. We work with homeowners and carefully consider their needs, desires, and challenges both now and in the future; and we work alongside Calgarians to find solutions that maintain their sense of pride and dignity, no matter the situation. We support lifestyle freedom and accessibility, and we enhance home design to enable more satisfying and liberating outcomes for clients who have made the choice to proactively age in place.
One of the most critical areas for improving homeowner confidence and comfort is bathroom design. Often overlooked in the industry, accessibility in bathrooms is absolutely crucial to overall independence for people with reduced mobility or sensory abilities. If you are considering renovating or rebuilding your bathroom for better aging in place considerations, here are some of the main factors to consider.
Accessible Bathroom Design Elements
Just like no two homeowners are the same, no two accessible bathroom designs will be the same, either. Understanding what you need – and what you will need later in life – is a major part of our discovery and planning process, and will direct our designers on how the final layout and design of your custom home renovation come together.
In general, these accessibility needs can be grouped into four categories:
- Lighting – improving visibility, especially for areas where glasses may not be worn;
- Space – to make room for physical equipment, such as walkers, wheelchairs, or medical supplies;
- Supports – reinforced handles, grips, and seats to prevent or mitigate falls; and
- Accommodations – installing special equipment, changing heights of fixtures, and other elements to better suit a lifestyle with lowered mobility.
Costs of Renovating a Bathroom for Aging in Place
While thinking about all of these changes and how they might impact your quality of life, it’s only natural to wonder how much it can cost to implement them. Our parent company, Pinnacle Group, has an in-depth article detailing the process and cost considerations of bathroom renovations in a Calgary home, as well as how much thoughtfulness goes into each decision.
While it is impossible to say exactly what the cost will be without a thorough examination of each home, its characteristics, and its owner’s needs, the average renovation usually falls between $15,000-$85,000+. This amount varies depending on factors like:
- the size of the current bathroom;
- whether additional space is being added;
- the condition of the room;
- the materials used in its construction;
- the features being installed; and
- the quality of fixtures, options, or other small details (cabinetry hardware, shower fixtures, faucets, heated flooring, and so on).
Booking a free consultation to get a professional opinion is the best way to get a more accurate understanding of budget ranges for your aging in place bathroom renovation. It’s also the first step in our 5-Step Process, which is how we turn ideas into elegant, fully functional designs that make your life safer and beautiful both now and in the years to come.
Tax Benefits and Other Options for Accessible Renovations
Did you know that renovating your bathroom to be more inclusive and accessible may qualify you for a tax benefit, grant, or other form of financial assistance? The federal government, banks, and other financial and legal institutions do this to incentivize investing in a better quality of life for the 8 out of 10 Canadians who wish to age in place in their own homes.
To find out if you can enjoy these benefits, talk to your accountant or a finance professional. You can also find more details and resources on the full MyLifetimeHome™ page on financing, which is a wonderful starting point for your renovation journey.
Making a Bathroom Accessible and Safe
Some of the most common questions we are asked here at MyLifetimeHome™ are about the different ways that Calgary homeowners can plan, install, and enjoy a mobility-friendly and fully functional bathroom. We love to see the joy in every client’s face when they realize they can continue to live at home while still maintaining a high quality of life and an independent lifestyle. For bathrooms, these elements usually consist of precautions, protections, and accommodations in the right places.
1) Holistic Room Design
As we age, we often need assistive equipment to move around – wheelchairs, walkers, and in some cases, overhead lifts. In addition, it is also more difficult to reach up to our full height, bend down to low areas, and maintain balance on slippery floors.
As such, many limiting factors in bathroom design can be alleviated by designing the entire room from a holistic, helpful viewpoint. It starts with more space; guidelines such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) require a circumference of at least 60”, allowing any person in a wheelchair to easily turn a whole circle without inhibiting items in the way. To do so, elements like a “floating vanity” can be utilized. Better flooring with non-slip finishes, servo-powered cabinets that automatically lower, more height-appropriate medicine cabinetry and comfort-height toilets all make a major dif