Falls account for 50% of injuries for people over the age of 60. Many simple details can make it easier to move about our living spaces.

Roll-in showers, locations of shower valves, lean railing in the corridor, single-story construction, and the door hardware all play a role in creating a space that is easy to navigate and presents fewer fall hazards.

On the John Knox Village VAL project, Haren brought an innovative shower detail to the project. The roll-in shower detail features a linear drain and a smooth transition from the vinyl floor covering to the drain and the shower pan. Accomplishing this detailed required several steps.

Haren created a mockup to give an approximation of what the shower would look like and function when complete.

Block-outs were made in the slab so that the shower pan was installed below the floor level.
The team used a lightweight floor patch material to taper the flooring to the linear drain and installed a low-profile flooring transition.

The result is a shower that functions well and is easy for a person using a wheelchair to enter. New grab bars were added in the shower stalls to make accessibility to the shower seat more convenient for the resident. These grab bars went above and beyond the ADA requirements. The showers have installed shower valves at the appropriate height for ease of use. The shower valves are accessible from the fold-down seat in the shower as well.

In the corridors of the VAL project, Haren carpenters installed a lean rail. Increasingly in senior living communities’ lean rails are taking the place of a traditional steel grab bar in corridors. The lean rail extends 4 inches from the wall to give seniors a better platform to steady themselves or lean on. The result is a hallway that has more of a high-end residential feel, and the lean rail meets ADA standards for accessible corridors in assisted living. The lean rails were prefabricated in the Haren shop and transported to the site for installation.

The VAL project is designed to help eliminate fall hazards for residents. Elevators are an easier way for seniors to reach another floor. Elevators are also a place where seniors are more likely to experience a fall or injury. The VAL project is a single-story facility eliminating the risk of elevator accidents.
Round doorknobs are difficult to use. They are challenging to grasp and require one specific grip position to operate. In contrast, lever-style door hardware can be easily operated by a variety of grip positions and does not require any grip strength.

Not every accident can be prevented, but the VAL project at John Knox Village is taking the necessary steps to decrease the risk to residents. Haren takes pride in helping our community live better and safer.