Universal Design is not on most peoples radar simply because it is not flashy or glitzy and does not get the media’s attention like the cool shiny stuff. But make no mistake, it is a powerful design solution to living comfortably and barrier free from childhood through the golden years. It is not a certain color or brand or piece of tile, it is a set of standards to design by, giving the occupants an unobstructed and easier way around their living spaces.
Simple things like no step showers, proper door hardware to allow for ease of access, lowering heights on commonly used equipment to allow the wheelchair / scooter user and or kids easier reach. All these Universal Design elements can be integrated into standard beautifully designed interiors. These design elements don’t shout at you, they just do their job quietly, well hidden and integrated within the overall design.
Ageing in Place can be life’s next great experience of freedom, after your drivers license! Not many really want to leave their homes just because it is getting harder to turn on a faucet or it is difficult to get in and out of a tub, and why should we? By simply using Universal Design principals in your own home you will allow yourself the ease and availability to stay in your home much longer, if not indefinitely.
Don’t wait till you absolutely need to incorporate Universal Design principals in your own home, but rather ask for these elements to be integrated in your design now, and at every opportunity. Living where we wish and how we wish can be easily achieved by simply planning ahead and using the right approach. So go ahead, treat yourself to a curb-less shower!