The bathroom is an oasis of peace and quiet in a busy family home. However, for those who are elderly or have physical limitations, the bathroom can be a dangerous place. Therefore, it can be a good idea to install safety features. In fact, there are some easy inexpensive ways to make a bathroom more accessible. Here are some things to consider if you are planning on remodeling your home bathroom to make it more accessible.
If you choose to do a full bathroom remodel, use the opportunity to widen the doorway. To accommodate a wheelchair, the doorway needs to be at least 36 inches wide. Wider doorways mean a new door, therefore, the handle on the new door should be lower than usual for wheelchair access. A knob handle can be difficult to grip and twist, so opt for a lever handle instead.
Flooring can be slippery even when it is not wet. This can be dangerous for the able-bodied as well. Loose rugs and mats are also part of the problem. Consider adding non-slip floor tiles and non-slip mats to your handicap-accessible bathroom.
Grab bars come in many different lengths and angles. Besides assisting with support, some grab bars can double as a towel rail. Install grab bars next to the toilet seat, on the wall that the bath is up against, on the open side of the walk-in tub, and in the handicap shower. Grab bars can help people with mobility issues get from the toilet to the sink. Having one on the back of the bathroom door is also a good idea for when the door is closed. Grab bars should be in areas where people need to move or stand.
Lower toilets are also easier to access for wheelchair users. If the toilet is currently located in a corner, think about centralizing the position. Changing the bathroom layout will make it easier to get around in a wheelchair and give caregivers room to assist. Another good idea is to have a motion sensor-activated toilet paper dispenser next to the toilet.
Getting in and out of the bath is a major cause of accidents. Consider a zero-entry shower with seating, if possible. This will make it easier to step in and out of, eliminating the trip hazard. A removable bath contoured seat will alleviate the need for a person to sit on the floor of the bath. A bathing harness will also prevent bathers from falling and allow caregivers to assist easier as well. Another good option is to install a bath that has an emergency toe drain.
These days it is possible for sinks to move up and down. Foot pedal mechanisms can be installed that allows them to adjust. Adjustable sinks are commonly referred to as floating sinks. They make the sink much easier for shorter people to use and make them more accessible for those in wheelchairs. Furthermore, some sinks are now able to be wall-mounted on a hinge which allows them to swing. This helps people to wash their hands while still seated on the toilet. However, they do require a flexible water supply and waste disposal pipe.
Lever taps are so much easier to use. Longer levers make them easier to access and the simple up and down movement makes them easier to open and close. You may also want to consider motion sensor taps for the sink as well, as these are hands-free. Another great invention is thermostatic taps which can be set to predetermined temperatures.
Smart mirrors have the capability to demist. Therefore, there is less need to wipe them. They can also be lit up and backlit with LED lighting, which helps with mirror image clarity and reduces the need to lean forward to peer into a mirror. Do some research and discover other smart gadgets that can make the bathroom more user-friendly and accessible.
Additional Information: Bathrooms With Disability Access
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Whether you want a soaker tub surrounded by subway tile or a low threshold shower with granite-like walls, you can customize your BathWraps space and even add accessories like soap dishes, caddies, seating, grab bars, and more. North Country Windows & Baths Lincoln, NE bathroom remodel experts can’t wait to help!