Ageless Design

Manufacturers finally create stylish products for baby boomers to age gracefully at home

Here’s a checklist from a book on Residential Design for Aging in Place, some links for additional information, and some photo examples.

The need for accessibility and universal design may come from an injury, a visiting relative, or just the tolls of aging. So if you’re building a new home or remodeling an older one, consider this checklist by Michael Thomas, author of Residential Design for Aging in Place:

  • Wider doorways (36″)
  • Wider hallways
  • Level door thresholds and curbless showers
  • Residential elevators or stair lifts
  • Main floor bathroom
  • Non-skid floors
  • Enhanced lighting
  • Good acoustics
  • Multiple counter heights
  • Lever-style door and faucet handles
  • Higher toilets
  • Balance bars
  • Adjustable storage
  • Low-maintenance finishes
  • Higher seat heights

Online Resources:

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Michael A. Thomas of The Design Collective Group installed this kitchen in a guest house for a client whose mother has multiple sclerosis. (Jim Robinette / Nothing Negative Photography)

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This bathroom looks elegant but it also has all the elements for Aging in Place -- a zero barrier shower threshold for walkers and wheelchairs, shower seat, hand-held shower, a foot bath with whirlpool jets and an attractive grab bar. (MTI Whirlpools)

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This curbless shower, part of a design by Michael A. Thomas of The Design Collective Group, is barrier-free. (Jim Robinette / Nothing Negative Photography)

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Kohler Elevance rising wall bath (Kohler Kitchen & Bath)

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Sterling Accord seated shower (Kohler Kitchen & Bath)

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Kohler Belay handrail (Kohler Kitchen & Bath)


Comments on “Ageless Design

  1. Very nice. Let’s rid the the word “institutional” from the design lexicon. Designers are finally having an impact on those manufacturers who are now designing those stylish products. And to keep them coming, designers need to keep utilizing those products even in projects that don’t need them at this moment. It is all about the future, and at some point we all will need some assistance to stay in our homes.

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