Although we don’t often think about bathrooms when it comes to accommodating disabilities, a regular bathroom can hold a host of obstacles for elderly and disabled people. Problems with grip, sizing and functionality are actually quite common for disabled people in regular bathrooms. Here are some accessible bathroom upgrades that will make it easier for disabled or elderly loved ones to get around the bathroom.
Walk-In Showers and Tubs
One of the biggest fall-risks for disabled and elderly people is getting in and out of showers or baths. Installing a walk-in (or roll-in) shower or switching to a walk-in tub makes it much easier for people to maintain their independence safely when it comes to hygiene. Many of these walk-in options can be customized with textured floors and handheld showerheads to further aid mobility.
When you think about it, there aren’t very many things to grab for support in a bathroom. Installing safety bars around the shower or tub makes it much easier for disabled people to get in and out, and it also provides something to grab in case of a fall. Safety bars around the toilet is also very helpful.
Widen the Door
Did you know that most bathroom doors are only 24 inches wide? ADA guidelines say wheelchair accessible doorways should be 36 inches wide. Remember this if you will need to accommodate a wheelchair.
Reduce Grip Obstacles
For many disabled and elderly people with arthritis or other conditions, gripping things is difficult and even painful. Even something as simple as flipping a light switch can be a difficult task for someone with grip and hand rotation problems. By switching from round to lever doorknobs, sensor light switches and even cabinetry with handles, you can make simple tasks a non-issue.
Keep Height In Mind
Similarly to door width, the ADA has height guidelines for accessible bathrooms. Consider raising the toilet and lowering the sink to meet these guidelines. In master bathrooms with two sinks, one can be standard height and one can be accessible.
Parker & Sons Plumbing has all of the tools to help you make an accessible bathroom, from showerhead installation to walk-in tub and shower options. For more information or to start a service request, contact Parker & Sons today.