Marketers have noticed the changing needs and immense purchasing power of baby boomers, and their companies are responding with product design and messaging that’s directly aimed at this demographic. They are also realizing that products designed for seniors and the disabled don’t have to scream, “I’m old and frail or handicapped!”
Kohler’s line of “Aging in Place” products typifies good Universal Design since they can fit well in any bathroom. Rather than detract from the value of a home, Kohler’s products add functionality, comfort, convenience, and value. Although the Kohler products featured in their microsite target people with arthritis, osteoporosis and other debilitating conditions, they can just as easily benefit someone with a simple sprained ankle.
My point is that everyone has a disability sometime, so products should acknowledge and support that. It may be too dark or too bright to see clearly, or the home may have filled with smoke from a fire. It may be too noisy to hear, either from loud guests at your party or that darn smoke detector going off again. You may have both arms full of groceries and find that opening the door or turning on the lights is difficult.
Shown in this photo are:
- Pedestal Sink with knee space for a wheelchair that provides an airy feel and makes the room look larger
- Lever faucet is easy to turn on without twisting and helps eliminate scalding
- Comfortable height toilet has grab bars nearby
- Bath also has grab bars and an handheld shower head with adjustable height
Over the next few months, I’ll add more articles about Universal Design, but I wrote this one after visiting the Kohler site.