How to Design a Bath Corner for an Octogenarian with Alzheimer

People think about interior designers when they need to pick their bedroom color and generally think about interior designer and decorators interchangeably. That needs a separate post by itself. This post is about how a seemingly simple space is often highly ‘designed’ to cater to a distinct client with specific needs.

Take this corner below. It seems very simple at first glance; simple lines, modern fixtures. Yet it is thoroughly designed for an octogenarian with Alzheimer, Arthritis and possibly wheelchair bound.

bathroomFirst :there is no vanity.This provides legroom for the person on wheelchair.There are regulations and codes about clearance,depth and heights of counter top,mirror or towel bar but I will not go into the specifics.

bathroom 3The faucet is with lever handle.It can be used with a closed fist.It is easier on Arthritis ridden joints than any other type that demands orchestrated movement from joints.bathroom 4

There are two separate built in cubbies on the wall. This part is guided by Alzheimer. Objects organized by function often help as memory aid. For example: separate cubbies of tooth brush and hair brush remind of two functions (dental care and general grooming) that need to be performed.

The materials are contrasting to help failing eyesight discern objects from its surrounding; white ceramic sink contrasts with the teak counter top. Teak counter top contrasts with the blue penny tile wall. The blue penny tile wall contrasts with the white penny tiled cubbies. Black hardware pop against the blue surface. The tiles are non-glossy to minimize glare. Floor tiles have enough grout lines to provide ample friction for safety.

Design is also about what is not there. There is decidedly a lack of pattern to help minimize the perpetual sense of confusion that comes with Alzheimer. There is no medicine cabinet (storage behind the mirror) since wheelchair bound arms cannot reach that far.

The part that could be an aesthetic decision was the color of the tiles or the hardware.


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