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How to make multi-generational living work


handicap shower stalls with seat

No matter what everyone’s different lifestyle demands might be, discover the bathroom solution to meet multi-generational needs.

The runaway cost of housing in the past decade has driven the emergence of a new trend. This is the age of multi-generational living, where young adults aged 21-34 are increasingly moving back into the family home while they save for a place of their own. According to research carried out by insurance company Aviva, the number of young adults living with parents increased by 32 per cent between 2005 and 2015, the same 10-year period that showed a massive 52 per cent increase in house prices. And all at a time when many families are welcoming elderly relatives into their homes as a more attractive option to residential or care home alternatives.

Family forethought

The result is that two or even three generations often find themselves living under the same roof, each placing different demands on it – perhaps most contentiously in the bathroom. For some householders it’s a place for an invigorating morning shower, for some a calm and tranquil spa-style sanctuary to relax in at the end of the day. Others, perhaps with reduced mobility, will need a place that’s easy to get around. So practicality is key. But that shouldn’t mean compromising on style.

Fortunately, combining the two has never been easier. Having a modern style wet room with a low-slip tiled floor, for example, is a great problem solver. For the elderly, it eliminates the trip hazard associated with the conventional shower enclosures and trays, while for younger householders it’s a spa-style luxury bathroom upgrade.

Use a floor tile with a bold and bright graphic pattern and not only will it add design appeal but can “zone” an area of the bathroom for anyone who may be visually impaired. Accessorise with a high impact “rainfall” shower head, thermostatic controls and modern touch-safe chrome fixtures, and you’ll please the young and old alike with practicality and style.

Little things that count

Even simpler multi-generational solutions include fitting a handrail to assist the less mobile – but one that isn’t obtrusive in its design or material and can blend in with other fixtures. Or how about a bathroom storage unit with nicely rounded corners for a safer environment, but still with bags of style?

There are walk in baths with a small step that  still enables the bather to enjoy the health benefits of a soak in the bath. There are also “Comfort” options available for basins and toilets – raised heights make it easier for the less mobile and the flexibility of wall mounted options allow for installation at different heights to suit a variety of needs.

No matter what everyone’s different lifestyle demands might be, it seems the family bathroom has never had a brighter nor more beautiful future.

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