30 X 48 Shower Base 2018 – Aging-in-Place With Universal and Adaptable Design

Houses That Develop Gracefully With You

As we enter into retirement, we start to face some very troublesome questions on the way forward for our households and our capacity to keep up our independence by way of the retirement years. We've a robust want to retain our autonomy so long as attainable and never depend on members of the family for help with each day residing. Common and adaptable design ideas optimize area in our houses to accommodate a variety of people with various bodily skills, enable folks to remain of their houses longer, and preserve households collectively.

What's Getting older-in-Place?

Getting older-in-place means residing in your house safely, comfortably, and independently, no matter age or capacity stage. It means that you can proceed residing in a well-known surroundings all through your maturing years. Getting older-in-place is the flexibility to stay in your house for a lifetime.

Fast Details...

    One-quarter of the U.S. inhabitants is over age 50.
    From 2000 to 2030 the over 65 inhabitants will double.
    By 2030, the inhabitants of older folks will possible enhance to over 69 million individuals.
    By 2050, the U.S. will account for 79 million folks over age 65.
    The online price of seniors is 5 instances better than the typical web price of all U.S. residents.

What's common and adaptable design?

Ron Mace, founder and program director of the Heart for Common Design, defines common design as "the design of merchandise and environments to be useable by all folks, to the best extent attainable, with out the necessity for adaptation or specialised design". For our functions, we'll restrict the time period "common design" because it applies to house design and associated merchandise.

Adaptable design, then again, permits the simple modification of an area to accommodate a particular want. The place common design advantages everybody no matter capacity, adaptable design offers entry to areas or merchandise by way of alteration or the addition of an assistive machine that bridges an present barrier to its use. Adaptable design is outlined by ANSI A117.1 (American Nationwide Requirements Institute) as, "the flexibility of sure constructing parts, equivalent to kitchen counters, sinks, and seize bars, to be added to, raised, lowered, or in any other case altered in order to accommodate the wants of both individuals with or with out disabilities, or to accommodate the wants of individuals with differing kinds or levels of incapacity".

The variations between common and adaptable design could also be obscure at instances. One might contemplate the set up of seize bars in a shower to be common as anybody can use the bar for stability or security. However the set up of the backing (structural help) for seize bars could also be thought of adaptable if the intent is to put in the bars at a future time when wanted to supply entry to the usage of the shower by an individual with a incapacity. It's this obscurity that factors to the truth that common and adaptable design shouldn't be a matter of itemizing gadgets as options; fairly, it's a philosophy of design. The philosophy of common design is summarized by the Ideas of Common Design developed by the Heart for Common Design (see Sidebar).


Copywrite 1997 NC State College, The Heart for Common Design

PRINCIPLE ONE: Equitable Use

The design is helpful and marketable to folks with numerous skills.

PRINCIPLE TWO: Flexibility in Use

The design accommodates a variety of particular person preferences and skills.

PRINCIPLE THREE: Easy and Intuitive Use

Use of the design is simple to grasp, whatever the consumer's expertise, information, language expertise, or present focus stage.

PRINCIPLE FOUR: Perceptible Info

The design communicates essential info successfully to the consumer, no matter ambient situations or the consumer's sensory skills.

PRINCIPLE FIVE: Tolerance for Error

The design minimizes hazards and the opposed penalties of unintentional or unintended actions.

PRINCIPLE SIX: Low Bodily Effort

The design can be utilized effectively and comfortably and with a minimal of fatigue.

PRINCIPLE SEVEN: Dimension and House for Strategy and Use

Acceptable dimension and area is supplied for method, attain, manipulation, and use no matter consumer's physique dimension, posture, or mobility.

"The Ideas of Common Design have been conceived and developed by The Heart for Common Design at North Carolina State College. Use or software of the Ideas in any kind by a person or group is separate and distinct from the Ideas and doesn't represent or indicate acceptance or endorsement by The Heart for Common Design of the use or software."

What are some functions of common and adaptable design?

Common design encompasses a large scope of house design and modification extending from landscaping and low upkeep exterior and inside finishes to particular options that improve the use and security of loos and kitchens. The usage of power environment friendly constructing supplies and photo voltaic design, for instance, could also be thought of common design standards as a result of it advantages everybody who makes use of it.

A few of the main areas we take a look at, from the attitude of common design, are entrances and pathways resulting in entrances, general inside accessible options, kitchens, loos, and sleeping areas. Let's take every of those individually and take a look at ways in which we are able to enhance the usability of every.

Entrances and pathways

One of many first issues to contemplate in common design is the right way to get rid of boundaries to entry from a automobile drop-off level to an accessible entrance. To make a pathway usable for an individual utilizing a wheelchair or different assistive machine, we have to restrict the slope of the walkway to a most change of 1 foot for each 20 ft up or all the way down to the entry. We favor to make use of earth berms, bridges or retaining partitions as a substitute of entrance ramps which will counsel a weak resident. Anybody shifting heavy furnishings in or out of the house will love this characteristic!

The entry itself has many sides to have a look at by way of accessibility. This stuff embody offering climate shelter, a no-step entry with a threshold lower than ½" excessive, maneuvering area on either side of the door, sidelights or "peepholes" to view guests, and satisfactory lighting to function locks and supply safety.

Total options of the house

Right here, we're going to discover some common design options that are not particular to anyone room, however must be thought of as normal functions.

Whether or not the house is designed for aging-in-place or just for visitability, we need to create easy accessibility to the primary residing areas and amenities. This may be completed by offering a minimal clear opening of 32" on all doorways to accessible areas and a 40" minimal clear circulation route by way of rooms and hallways. We additionally need to present a minimal of 18" beside the door latch for straightforward operation for folks utilizing assistive gadgets. Lever handles enable use with an elbow, forearm or wrist for individuals who have problem gripping or twisting a doorknob.

One other consideration can be the location retailers, switches and different operable controls. Raised retailers between 18" and 22" above the ground falls inside the vary of use for an individual in a seated place and in addition aids individuals who have issues stooping over. Putting gentle switches and different controls a most of 48" above the ground permits their use from a seated place. Kids even have a neater time utilizing these switches.

Security within the house is one other massive consideration addressed by way of common design. Non-slip flooring surfaces will assist keep away from falls and help in the usage of walkers and wheelchairs. Telephones put in in strategic areas, equivalent to bedrooms and loos, will assist summon help if wanted. Additionally, lowered window sill heights to a most of 36" excessive will improve the usage of home windows for egress in case of fireside or different emergency.


Kitchens are infamous in excluding their use for a wide range of folks and there are a lot of common design "requirements" that apply to this space of the house. Though the applying of common standards to the kitchen is often design particular, we'll cowl among the extra vital design decisions.

We first need to make certain we've got correct flooring area that's appropriate for all customers, together with individuals who use wheelchairs. Optimally, we wish to see a 5' clear turning radius within the kitchen, however, at the least, we need to present a 30" x 48" method in entrance of all home equipment. We additionally need to present knee area below the sink and cooktop, in addition to a lowered counter (additionally with knee area) at a piece space for an individual in a seated place. Some adaptable standards might come into play right here with detachable base cupboards or doorways that swing out for roll-under entry.

Steady counters between work areas could also be a common design consideration. An instance can be having a sink and cooktop on the identical run of counter so heavy object might slide between the 2 with out having to choose it up. One other thought is likely to be to have a sprayer or faucet positioned to fill espresso makers or pots with out lifting.

The choice and placement of home equipment have to be thought of for ease of use. Controls have to be positioned inside the vary of attain for individuals in a seated place. The utmost attain top of 48" for all kitchen controls apply right here. Ahead attain over obstructions must also be thought of, however that is shopper particular and mathematical formulation are used to find out ahead attain ranges. Entrance mounted controls are straightforward to make use of for everybody, however consideration must be taken by way of entry to young children. Facet-by-side fridges are additionally accessible to everybody.

A raised dishwasher, in addition to raised washer / dryer within the laundry room, improves its use for each folks utilizing wheelchairs and people having issues stooping over to load the machine. There may be additionally a protracted record of cupboard options that enhance entry, equivalent to pull-out cabinets, lazy susans, and roll out waste containers. Sufficient process lighting can be a serious consideration within the kitchen.


Security is the primary precedence within the bathroom as it's the room with the very best variety of accidents within the house. Non-slip surfaces are important each inside and out of doors the bathtub / shower space. As talked about earlier, seize bars improve the protection for everybody, however are particularly essential to individuals who have an elevated danger of falling. They're additionally crucial for individuals who use wheelchairs to allow switch to shower seats and bogs. Stress balanced / anti-scald valves are one other security characteristic that advantages everybody.

Entry for folks utilizing assistive gadgets is vital within the bathroom. Curb-less showers enable folks to roll-in or keep away from tripping over a curb on the shower pan. (This characteristic has additionally spurred some very stunning bathroom designs!) Dimensions round bogs are vital for entry and 30" x 48" minimal method space in entrance of all bathroom fixtures is required. (These clearances can overlap.)

There are numerous equipment obtainable for shower / tub modifications that enhance security and comfort. Recessed cleaning soap and shampoo ledges, numerous seats and benches, and adjustable top / hand-held shower with slide bars, simply to call just a few.


One of many essential options we need to search for within the bed room is that there's satisfactory clearance for maneuvering across the mattress and correct clearances for emergency egress, both at a door or a window with a lowered sill. Correct clearance must be thought of for adaptable gadgets, equivalent to a Med-Pole (a chrome steel assistive machine) or Hoya carry. The doorways to accessible areas, just like the bathroom and closet, have to be a minimal of 32" extensive as talked about earlier. Adjustable cabinets and garments rods within the closet are very useful to accommodate a variety of attain.


Getting older-in-Place means sustaining independence and management of your life. Your surroundings performs a key function in reaching that objective and steps must be taken to enhance the usability, security and luxury of your property.

This begins with a complete private evaluation and residential audit for independence which may be carried out by a medical skilled or a skilled aging-in-place specialist. With this info, options for house modification will be developed. A few of these modifications could also be completed your self, equivalent to utilizing brighter lighting and slip-free mats. Different modifications would require a skilled skilled for widening doorways and numerous rework tasks in loos and kitchens.

Whether or not you might be contemplating transforming or designing a brand new house, search for professionals who've the expertise to precisely assess your wants and discover the options that can make your own home a house for a lifetime. One useful resource for locating certified professionals is the Nationwide Affiliation of Residence Builders (NAHB). They've created the Licensed Getting older-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) program that will help you determine trade professionals with the talents and information particular to house modifications for aging-in-place.