When approaching an aging-in-place remodel, it’s important that all homeowners take a look at their environment and identify potential obstacles that could impact their daily life. One of those obstacles may be the type of faucets and sinks around the home.
Kitchen and bathroom faucets provide a unique challenge for aging adults. Limited dexterity, worsening vision, increased sensitivity to heat, and a decrease in hand strength all require our faucet fixtures to make up for these ailments in some way, whether that means color-coded handles, motion-sensor technology, or thermostatic functionality.
Here are eight faucets that can be added to your kitchen or bath that will continue to promote independence, as laid out in our Ultimate Guide to Faucets for Aging in Place.
For someone aging in place, the less you need to use your fingers and hands to do everyday tasks the better. That’s why this modern kitchen faucet by Moen is my first pick on the list. Moen’s touchless MotionSense technology means that your parent can turn their faucet on and off hands-free. The faucet also includes a pulldown kitchen sink sprayer and an easy-to-turn hand lever should they decide to use it. This faucet will add a significant amount of safety and comfort to your aging-in-place kitchen.
GROHE takes hands-free faucet technology a step farther with its foot-controlled kitchen faucet. The LadyLux single-handle pulldown is easily controlled by either the swipe of your foot under the sink or the easy-to-use lever handle. Convenience is something everyone enjoys, but in the aging-in-place kitchen, this faucet provides a level of convenience that makes everyday kitchen tasks more comfortable for sore hands and adds even more safety.
A pot filler faucet removes the need to fill pots with water in the kitchen sink and then hoist them up and over to the stove – perfect for the aging-in-place kitchen. Delta’s wall mount pot filler is installed above the stove and can be turned on and off with a quarter-turn of the handle. The faucet has two levers: one to turn on its water supply and one to release the water into the pot. The spout reach for this particular faucet is 24-inches, and it can easily be folded against the wall when not in use. Most importantly, this particular pot filler is ADA-compliant. It’s an all-around great safety feature to add to your aging-in-place home, eliminating your parent’s need to carry heavy pots of water from the stink to the stove, and reducing the chance of a slip were any of that water to spill.
In the bathroom, the placement of the showerhead plays an important role in the safety of individuals as they shower. If it is too high, it can cause people to reach, and if it’s too low, they may contort their body into uncomfortable positions. PULSE ShowerSpas offers a complete valve hand shower system kit that provides an elegant rain showerhead along with a multi-function handheld showerhead with adjustable height, so it will always be in reach for those who need to use it.
One-lever faucets have been incorporated into homes for decades, and they are still being recommended for aging in place renovations as they remove many of the physical constraints associated with declining fine motor skills. Moen’s single handle bathroom faucet makes it easy to adjust the water while complying with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) specifications. The ultra-modern styling will fit in with most bathroom designs and Moen offers all users a limited lifetime warranty. One common concern with this faucet is that it easily shows water spots and requires more upkeep than other faucets. Fortunately, it’s very easy to wipe down with a cloth to remove unwanted spots.
As we age, scalding becomes a real concern and unfortunately, it’s entirely too common. First-degree burns can develop at only 118-degrees Fahrenheit, and hot water heaters can have temperatures that go up to 140 degrees. Grohe’s SmartControl thermostat can be placed in any modern bathroom and has the technology to prevent any unpleasant temperature fluctuations. It also has an override button that allows users to set a maximum temperature of 100 degrees, so scalding is prevented. The system comes with controls to switch between different spray patterns and water outlets, allowing for a unique showering experience so it’s both safe and comfortable.
When designing for aging in place, you have a few different options to prevent scalding. A thermostat can be a great option to use in the shower as it can be linked to multiple valves, but it may not be practical to incorporate into a sink faucet. Delta solves this challenge with its Single Handle Bathroom Faucet. Not only is this sink faucet easy to operate by activating with the use of sensors, but it’s also equipped with the Delta TempSense™ LED technology.
What I love about this faucet is its LED technology safety feature. The faucet produces a light that changes color as the water’s temperature goes up or down. It will show as blue at below 80 degrees, magenta from 80 degrees to 110 degrees, and shows as red when the temperature rises above 110 degrees. Even for adults with poorer eyesight, this safety feature is incredibly easy to see. It’s one of the best aging-in-place fixtures I’ve found to prevent sudden changes in water temperature and reduce the likelihood of the severe accidents scalding water can cause.
While it’s not a kitchen or bathroom faucet, I have to throw this exterior turn valve on my list of recommendations because of how important it is to consider faucet safety throughout your entire aging-in-place home – indoors and out. There’s always going to be that one faucet that’s tricky to turn on and off – every home has one. A lot of times that faucet is the one attached to an outdoor garden hose. Not only is this a challenge for older, sore hands, but outdoor hoses are often placed low to the ground which could make turning the valve even more difficult and dangerous for the older adult. Add to that the possible slip hazards that wet outdoor surfaces can cause and you have the potential for a serious safety risk.
With American Valve’s Quarter Turn Hose Bibb, your exterior hose becomes much easier to turn on and off. Unlike traditional knob valves that require lots of turning, this one from American Valve has an easy-to-use lever. This simple part is easy to install and will give you the peace of mind of knowing your parent is enjoying gardening or just some fresh air with much less risk of an accident or pain.
Select Kitchen and Bathroom Faucets that Will Improve Your Parent’s Quality of Life
Remodeling for aging in place includes a lot of time for preparation and planning. While it’s easy to overlook faucets in the hustle and bustle of the renovation, age-friendly faucets are an extremely important part of the retiree’s daily routine.
While every person ages differently, incorporating universal design concepts into your aging-in-place home can help make sure you’re prepared for every stage of life. Aging-in-place faucets fit neatly into this concept and can go a long way toward improving the quality of life of your parent or loved one.
As you plan your aging-in-place home renovation and begin your search for safe faucets, use this list as your guide and you’ll be set with the best faucet products out there for aging-in-place. As you go, use the comments section below to send me any questions on products or faucet installations. I’m here to help and guide you along the way.
Good luck with your next aging-in-place project.