Everyone should have a home that is safe and accessible to them so they can experience their best life within those walls. Having a bathroom that is properly designed for prime accessibility is crucial to living a life with a disability or a mobility issue that retains dignity and promotes independence. Ensuring that your bathroom, one of the most important rooms in the house, is an accessible bathroom design that is safe and allows freedom is critical.
For more information about how to best make your home work for the family living there, speak to the Bath Makeovers by Capital team if you are within the Boston area. We can offer advice and develop a plan that serves your needs.
Accommodations to Make Bathrooms More Accessible
When assessing your home, ensure all household members are properly accommodated, especially those who need more accommodations, so that the home functions adequately for them. You can have your bathroom professionally inspected or simply read through the following to help determine your needs:
- Notice the doors to the bathroom. Make sure the flooring is even so that an uneven surface is not an impediment for mobility devices. You will want to ensure wide enough doors for a person in a wheelchair or with a walker to navigate.
- The size of the bathroom should be considered. There must be room to maneuver walkers and wheelchairs within the space.
- Consider installing a zero-entry shower, also known as a roll-in shower. Zero-entry showers allow people in wheelchairs or using walkers to enter without tripping hazards.
- Another option for bathing is a walk-in bathtub. These bathtubs allow you to walk in and have a seat before the tub begins to fill. The water pressure as the tub fills will seal the door you walk in through closed tightly.
- Grab bars and handrails are a must in an accessible bathroom. Consider where these are needed and what should be mounted.
- The sink and mirror heights are important, especially if the person using them will be doing so from a wheelchair or who will be sitting down. Consider brushing your teeth, managing a skincare routine and styling hair, and the height of all the mirrors, cabinets, and countertops.
- Outlets should be placed at heights that are easiest to reach for the people who need to access them.
- Dark areas of the bathroom make it hard to clean, difficult to see, and can result in falls. Ensure your bathroom is properly lit so that the people who use the bathroom can see what they are doing.
- A roll-in shower door is often a good suggestion. Barrier-free shower doors do not have a curb, which makes them easier to enter and to exit. Because they are space conscious, the door does not take up extra room in the bathroom.
Making a Bathroom More Accessible Through Large and Small Alterations
Before you get ready to tackle a bathroom renovation, what you may need to spend to complete the project may feel overwhelming. Consider what needs should be met to allow your bathroom to accommodate the people who live in your home safely.
Some Less Expensive Alterations
There are times when a person simply needs support standing or pulling themselves up. The added stability of handrails or grab bars can be a tremendously helpful addition. They are not difficult installations and are not particularly expensive.
Listed below are some places they can be installed to make a bathroom safer:
- Next to or inside the shower
- Beside the toilet
- In the bathtub
- Around walk-in bathtubs
Installation is usually uncomplicated. When Bath Makeover by Capital installs handrails and grab bars for our clients, we make sure they are positioned correctly and can safely support the weight of the person who needs them.
Doorways to Bathrooms That Allow Wheelchair Access
When a person uses a wheelchair, the width of the doors must accommodate the wheelchair. To ensure the doorways to your bathroom will allow a wheelchair user to easily access them, consider these features:
- Doorways have to be at least 32 inches wide so that a standard-sized wheelchair will have the clearance they need to enter and exit.
- Ensure there is no “curb” where the tile begins as you enter the bathroom. These can be a nuisance and even dangerous for wheelchair or walker users.
Consider the Cabinetry
When designing a bathroom for maximum accessibility, counter heights and cabinets are essential. Having lower cabinets makes getting what you need from the cabinets easier if you are in a wheelchair. Pulling out shelves inside the cabinets allows even more accessibility and is something to consider.
Bathtubs and Showers Made for the People Using Them
Bathing is a fact of life. It is necessary to maintain good hygiene, and it just makes you feel good. It is often a pleasurable experience. However, showering or taking a bath can be inconvenient or even dangerous when a bathroom is not made to accommodate a person with additional needs.
Taking a bath is, in most cases, a private matter. The more independence in this area that a person can retain, the more dignity they are allowed. Often, people only consider the utilitarian when designing accessible bathrooms, but by considering the human experience and the positive impact of being independent and being able to do as much as possible themselves, we allow ourselves and our family members a better overall quality of life.
Roll-in showers are one way to make showering a more independent activity for wheelchair users. Barrier-free, roll-in shower doors should also be a consideration when ensuring a person has more access to bathing independently, safely, or easily.
Another consideration is a walk-in bathtub. There is nothing like soaking in a nice, hot bath. A person with mobility issues does not have to give that up.
Using a walk-in bathtub, if you would otherwise have trouble stepping into and out of a bathtub, you can still enjoy a leisurely, luxurious bath.
Bath Makeover by Capital Creates Considerate Accommodations to Raise the Quality of Life for People with Mobility or Accessibility Needs
By considering the precise needs of our clients, we can provide safer, more user-friendly bathrooms. This can make life easier and more satisfying for those who need the accommodations and for the people in their lives.
If you have questions about making your bathroom more accessible, we will gladly talk to you. The professionals at Bath Makeover by Capital are ready to make the alterations your home needs to function better within your budget. We aim to provide an elevated living situation for each of our clients.