Marilyn’s story is about proactive planning for Aging in Place by outfitting your home for accessibility and safety. Her wise planning choices are now enabling her to stay in the place that she loves. Here is her story…
Marilyn and her late husband bought their condominium in mid-town Toronto in 2002. They had lived in this condo for about 13 years when in 2015 when Marilyn’s husband faced a life-limiting illness. During the process of caring for her husband and arranging home care, Marilyn became more aware of the challenges and risks of her bathroom design.
Marilyn recognized that someday she too, might face trouble getting in and out of the bathtub, and supporting herself while showering. She realized the bathroom would have to be renovated for accessibility, and by doing so, she would have the choice to stay in her place, even if she needed home care.
So, despite Marilyn being physically healthy and mobile at the time, she decided to get ahead of it, and outfit her bathroom for accessibility. She sought the right advice about how to adapt her bathroom to be universally accessible. Her initial advisor was a an expert realtor (Jeffrey Kerr) who specializes in accessible properties. The expert realtor led her to a specialty company (Versatile Accessibility) that leads these types of barrier-free renovation projects.
The scope of Marilyn’s bathroom project was significant, since she chose to invest in a full renovation. This meant ripping out all of the fixtures, walls and floor of the old bathroom, and starting all over to create the new and tastefully designed bathroom. In so doing, this would enable more design flexibility and an increase in the usable space.
The new bathroom that she and her team created had the following features including:
- A Roll- In and Open Shower with a bench for Marilyn to sit on
- Safety bars in the shower and adjacent to it ( which serve a double purpose of a towel rack)
- Non-slip tile flooring and a seamless entry into the shower
- A detachable shower nozzle and allows her to sit on the bench and shower herself
- A raised toilet and safety bar on the opposite wall
- A raised bidet with a safety bar
- Recessed medicine cabinet with a pull out door and mirror on both sides Pocket door entrance to the bathroom (that allowed no swinging doors that take up space).
All of these changes produced a beautiful new bathroom! Marilyn loves taking a shower in her new space, and enjoys the ability to move with ease and safety in her bathroom.
And, she appreciates how easy her bathroom is to use when visiting out-of-town friends who have not yet done this renovating work.
More of us can be thinking ahead like Marilyn!