Secrets of a CAPS Bathroom
The bathroom is regularly cited as one of the “danger zones” for aging Baby Boomers and Seniors because it is a place where slips and falls are common and harmful. That is why a Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS) pays close attention to bathroom design and planning when remodeling a home.
Phil Calinda, CGR, CGB, GMB, CAPS, CGP, of Millennium Custom Homes in Livingston, N.J. , shared a CAPS bathroom project and the considerations that went into planning and completing this portion of a home remodel for a couple in New Jersey.
The clients expressed interest in having a CAPS bathroom, but didn’t need completely accessible features available immediately. Calinda remodeled two bathrooms, integrating accessibility improvements and also doing the preparation for future changes that may be required as they age.
The master bathroom was remodeled to include a shower room with benches for seating. It has a lip to keep in water, but can be accessed by someone with limited mobility. Additionally, the bathroom has a floating vanity allowing wheelchair access and a comfort-height toilet with grab bars on the adjacent walls.
The remodeler also created the shower from one piece of Corion, requiring no grout as it was built on site and molded together. This detail means the shower is maintenance free and the home owners won’t have to worry about possible water penetration issues.
Calinda also used lever handles and installed extra blocking behind the walls to allow for additional grab bars in the future. Another creative feature is the rolling hamper designed for the bathroom. It has an easy-to-grab handle and is simple to roll out when needed.
In the smaller second bathroom, Calinda added accessible features like grab bars next to the toilet and a roll-under sink. They also built a shower with a flat entrance allowing wheelchair access. Seating can be added later.
Calinda calls his first CAPS bathroom project a success. “What you don’t see is all the prep work behind the walls, plan for the “what ifs” such as brackets for extra handles in the future,” says Calinda. A lot of work goes in to thinking problems out and planning for possible future needs.