SRES Marketplace November 2023
By Elyse Umlauf-Garneau
Homeowners are increasingly focused on aging and safety when they renovate their bathrooms, and they’re incorporating universal design features that address their future needs and are functional for people of all ages and abilities.
It’s good news because bathrooms often are among the most dangerous rooms in the house for seniors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say falls are the leading cause of injury-related death among adults ages 65 and older.
Houzz found that 66% of homeowners address special needs during a bathroom renovation, up from 54% who did so in 2021. Nearly half (44%) of homeowners anticipate special needs to arise within the next five years.
As such, they’re incorporating an array of safety features, including:
- Grab bars (58%)
- Nonslip flooring (58%)
- Curbless showers (43%)
- Additional lighting (33%)
- ADA-compliant toilets (26%)
- Wheelchair-accessible doorways (21%)
- Lower vanity height (3%)
- Lower fixtures (2%)
Though not necessarily for safety reasons, primary bathrooms are growing, with (22%) of homeowners saying they expanded their primary bathroom during a renovation by taking square footage from closets (44%), bedrooms (24%), and hallways (7%). Nearly 3 in 5 bathrooms (59%) measure 100 square feet or more after renovation.
In addition, 26% of homeowners remove their tubs during renovation, and the majority (77%) enlarge the shower space. For one in five, their new shower is 50% larger than their old one.
Low-curb (43%) entries grew in popularity since last year, increasing by 1%. Curbless entries were the choice for 24%, representing a 3% increase since last year.
Sustainability is another trend gaining traction, with 87% of homeowners incorporating environmental features that include:
- LED lightbulbs (62%)
- Water-efficient fixtures (46%)
- Timeless design (44%)
- Energy-efficient fixtures (34%)
- Light dimmers (34%)
For 69% of homeowners, such features’ long-term cost-effectiveness is one motivation for the choices, and 54% said it was for their environmental friendliness.
Other study highlights:
Learn more about fall prevention:
Medicare open enrollment
Heads-up: Medicare open enrollment ends on December 7th. If you haven’t reviewed your options, it’s time to do so.
After all, Medicare is complex, and it takes time to understand all the options, especially if you’re signing up for the first time. Plus, your choices will affect your care and costs for all of 2024. By making rushed, last-minute decisions, you could miss out on plans that could save money and provide the coverage that best fits your needs.
You don’t have to go it alone. Here are resources to help you navigate your choices:
- Medicare – call 1-800-633-4227, TTY users call 1-877-486-2048
- National Council on Aging
- The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) – SHIP provide unbiased advice on Medicare choices. Using the site’s “Find Your Local SHIP,” you can find local, one-on-one help choosing a Medicare plan.
- USA Today 2024 Medicare open enrollment date and how to prepare.