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Building Better Bathrooms: How to Make Updates for Senior Residents

Building Better Bathrooms
August 2018

Entering their Golden Years and re-entering the housing market, Baby Boomers (ages 52 to 70) are an influential group to consider when making updates to properties. The most recently available population projections from Pew Research showed an estimated 74 million Boomers in the United States. Furthermore, more than 5 million Boomers expect to rent by 2020, according to a separate study conducted by Freddie Mac. Property managers must make careful considerations in providing accessible, yet stylish, housing arrangements.

One of the best ways to ensure safe, independent living for those aging in place as well as those currently in senior-housing facilities is to update the bathroom to a more accessible design. Following are the latest developments that will help upgrade your residents’ bathrooms to accommodate their needs.

Understanding Aging in Place

Aging in place and universal design remain topics of importance in the remodeling industry. Whether a senior resident is hoping to stay in their current unit or move in with family, it’s important to ensure they feel secure any time they go into the bathroom.

Essential universal design elements to feature in bathrooms:

  • Wheelchair-accessible doorways
  • Reinforced walls to support grab bars
  • Zero-threshold showers with fold-down seats and comfort-height toilets


When considering American Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant options, Glacier Bay offers an excellent lineup including grab bars and bathroom faucets. The brand’s offerings help to ensure safety, creating greater independence and satisfaction for residents while at home.

Safer Showers with Durable Design

Adding a natural-look folding seat in the shower offers a safety benefit without compromising on décor. Apartment homes can also be upgraded to include water-saving showerheads such as sleek options that are easy to install without tools. Look for models that feature a fixed or hand-held, adjustable showerhead to accommodate different residents’ needs.

Remember to incorporate grab bars in showers and near toilets as well. Many newer models even serve a dual purpose of storing toiletries and providing support.

High Quality Upgrades: Vanities

Vanities act as a focal point and provide practical solutions such as hiding plumbing, storing toiletries and increasing counter space. Glacier Bay vanities, which come fully assembled, make this upgrade a breeze.

For aging residents, install toilet models that are higher-seated for easier access. Glacier Bay’s SuperClean toilet options also feature an antimicrobial glaze, keeping the bowl cleaner over time. The Home Depot’s merchants worked with Glacier Bay to include the Quick Connect easy installation system that expedites toilet setup.

Finding Modern Faucets

The Home Depot works directly with manufacturers to create every faucet on the store’s shelves, and 90 percent of the models are exclusive. Consider faucets with lever handles that are easier to operate or WaterSense-certified faucets, which use 20 percent less water and perform as well as or better than regular models.

These features are great for customers, but property managers will enjoy innovations that simplify installation including the Integral Stop Feature that allows water to be stopped at a single unit instead of the whole community. The Home Depot also worked with Glacier Bay to create the ClickInstall® drain assembly system specifically as a simple solution for bath faucets. It features joints that click into place, installing the drain in seconds with no placement errors.

As residents age, special features in the bathroom will ensure they are safe and comfortable. The more property managers can learn about meeting seniors’ needs, the better they will be able to serve this population, widening their client base and increasing resident satisfaction.