How to Make a Bathroom Fully Accessible
If you need to make a bathroom fully accessible for aging parents or relatives with mobility issues, it is important to plan the space properly. With the proper planning, even a small bathroom can have all the bath safety products and medical equipment necessary for easy access.
What are the main factors you should consider if you have to redesign a bathroom or make one more accessible for those who have limited mobility?
Depending on the specific needs of the person, it could be necessary to install a curbless shower. This is ideal for wheelchair users or those who are at risk of tripping. It is also possible to have different types of seats, which can be, either permanent fixtures or removed if necessary.
You should also install grab bars to assist in mobility. Remember, that floors can become slippery when there is water on them.
The bathroom sink should be installed without a cabinet underneath it. This will allow wheelchair users to sit right at the sink. It is also important that the sink is securely mounted because very often people with limited mobility will use the sink for support.
Faucets which have a single handle are much better because it make it easier to get water at the required temperature. If you can afford one, a faucet with a sensor can be an ideal choice, however, you are limited to having water at one temperature.
It is important that toilets are at a comfortable height. The recommended toilet seat height for those who have limited mobility is 17" – 19" high. If it is not possible to replace the toilet seat, you can purchase a toilet seat elevator.
For safety, you should also install support bars on either side of the toilet. Remember to make sure that the toilet paper dispenser is at the proper height for easy reach.
One area that some people forget is to make sure that there is enough lighting in the bathroom. This means making sure that there are no shadows. Also, light switches should be lowered. If possible, motion detectors can be installed. However, care must be taken that they don't switch off too early. For example, if someone is taking a shower and there is no movement in the bathroom, it could be very dangerous if the light suddenly switches off.
In general, make sure that everything is within reach without having to stretch or ask for assistance.