In recognition of The International Day of Older Persons, Grohe has looked at ways in which bathroom design can improve quality of life for the the ageing population.
Spearheaded by the United Nations, The International Day of Older Persons encourages enhanced attention to the particular needs and challenges faced by older people today. The awareness day offers an opportunity to look at multigenerational spaces and how to prepare them to cope with the needs of the elderly.
“Many people planning a bathroom today want to take their future needs and requirements into account without compromising on contemporary design,” says Raj Mistry, Marketing Director for Grohe UK. “The bathroom is particularly vital to old age, as it is the room where people perhaps most want to be self-sufficient to preserve dignity and save themselves from feelings of embarrassment. At the same time, it is an essential room in order to maintain high self-hygiene levels. There are a number of ways that bathroom design can be structured to cope with the demands of ageing.”
A sensible room layout and a forward-looking choice of decor are equally instrumental in maximising the user-friendliness of what remains the most private room of any hotel. The room layout should avoid narrow access ways and provide sufficient turning space for wheelchairs and walkers, while placing basins and WCs in easily accessible spots – for example, a lower wall hung basin to allow access for wheelchair users. Cleverly placed grab bars in the toilet and shower area, as well as a seat in the bath or shower, can further help to give people confidence to use the bathroom independently.
Specifically designed and engineered products form an important contribution to the multigenerational bathroom, combining elevated levels of comfort, ergonomics, user safety and longevity. Products-wise, safety features such as thermostatic shower controls to balance fluctuations in water temperature and pressure, as well as technology like Grohe’s CoolTouch system, can prevent the fitting’s body and other objects such as hand showers becoming excessively hot on the surface. This helps to reduce the risk of scalding and, as the technology is hidden within the product, enables it to retain a stylish look.
Product control is also an important factor to consider. Infra-red touchless taps can prove an effective solution, as the water flow simply starts and stops when the sensor detects hand movement. The taps often come with a timer, which automatically stops the water flow after a desired length of time to reduce wastage.
“Up until a certain age we take going to the toilet for granted,” Mistry adds. “It’s an every day necessity but as we age and become less mobile it becomes more difficult than in previous years.”
Shower toilets use advanced technologies to minimise maintenance and cleaning, offering a perfect combination of thorough body care, hygiene and personalised comfort. A shower toilet such as the Grohe Sensia Arena provides a solution for the multigenerational bathroom with its natural, water-only cleansing process and customisable functions. An automatic shower toilet combines toilet, bidet and warm air drying in one unit, meaning no strenuous movement is required for those with reduced mobility.