This is the last LIVE show of 2010...Thanks for listening & being a part of the show! We will be running some of our favorite interviews & shows as we take some time off for the holidays.
I will be a guest on The Recipe Box radio show on Friday, 12/10 talking holiday decorating tips, Feng Shui for the Holidays & some de-cluttering advice to start the New Year off right!
Lynn Shrage is a great representative of Kohler! And a great sport...see the videos I took at the Kohler Aging-in-Place suite at the Chicago Merchandise Mart on the Bante Design youtube channel. There are 3 great minis which will help you visualize some of what we were talking about in the show.
Remember: Universal Design is about making a space accessible to EVERYONE regardless of age, ability & circumstance! It's NOT just for the aging...but for anyone with any mental and/or physical disability, those who temporarily are in need of help (crutches/wheelchair after an accident, recovering from surgery...).
Kohler has come up with 20 Design Solutions for helping implement Universal Design retro-fits into their spaces. Some of the highlights include:
- Visual Cues: think using contrasting fixtures/finishes so those who are visually impaired can better distinguish fixtures in the space.
- Organize: put things at a height that is easy to reach for the occupant and where it will be used.
- Faucets: lever handles that are easy to grab & use for those w/arthritis, or "touch-less" faucets (very popular in commercial applications for sanitary reasons, becoming more popular for residential, especially in the kitchen).
- Showers: making sure controls are placed to help prevent scalding & easy to reach, making sure seating is at appropriate height AND where water will reach, grab bars for help transitioning into bath/shower area and/or for help rising from seat & to keep balance. TIP: grab bars are getting a LOT of attention & becoming very stylish w/matching bath accessories!
- GFI outlets: Ground Fault Interrupters to help stop the flow/current of electricity to the outlet when water is present. Most newer construction has this as it's now code, however, some older homes do not. To be safe, wherever water is or can be present (bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, garages, basements & outdoor outlets) should ALL be GFI.
- Transfer space/seat: this is where you "transfer" from a wheelchair to the bath tub (bed, chair...). Make sure their is enough space allocated to perform this task.
- Hand Showers: easy to retrofit into existing bath. Perfect for those with kids and pets as well!
- Drawer/cabinet pulls: again, think lever AND large enough so the hand can grab & pull easily.
- Increase value of home if some/all of these tips are implemented with a rapidly aging population it makes your home/bldg more marketable.
- Helps prepare for the future and/or accident, even if only temporary (crutches, physical therapy, start of health issues, elderly relative moving in or staying temporarily after a hospital stay
- Lowes For Pros Universal Design & How Your Facility Can Benefit
- Healthy House Institute: Creating an Ageless & Barrier-free Bathroom