The bathroom is one of the most important rooms in the house, but it’s also a room that often gets overlooked when people are thinking about remodeling a property to accommodate a relative with a disability. Bathroom accessibility requires some thought and planning, especially if the room is small. Fortunately, some simple changes can help disabled individuals navigate the bathroom and use the fixtures and fittings.
Simple Improvements to Bathroom Accessibility for Disabilities
When it comes to improving bathroom accessibility, there are a few key considerations:
- Providing sufficient open floor space for wheelchairs
- Open showers with easy access for those with limited mobility
- Wheelchair-friendly positioning for features such as light switches, showerheads, and faucets
- Grab bars and seating
Showers Designed With Accessibility in Mind
Traditional bathtubs can be difficult for disabled individuals to get in and out of. Even walk-in tubs can pose challenges because of the high tub rails and narrow openings, making it difficult for people to enter and exit.
Replacing a tub with a spacious walk-in shower that has a more open design, with seats and grab bars to help with mobility, makes life a lot easier for the user and caregivers alike. Adding a portable showerhead (either as the primary or as a secondary head positioned lower down so it’s easy to reach) gives the user the ability to better control the direction of the water flow for a better shower experience.
Depending on the size of your bathroom, it may be wise to consider an open shower with a curtain rather than one with a sliding door or door-style screen to make it easier for a disabled individual to get in and out of the shower. This style also preserves valuable floor space.
Consider Lighting and Alert Systems
Another thing to consider is the location of any light switches/fans, and the type of lighting used. Make sure everything is within easy reach for wheelchair users, and that the lighting is good enough for them to be able to use the bathroom mirror and see properly in the shower too. Be mindful that a person seated in a wheelchair may see different glare / shadows to an adult who is standing up.
Consider fitting an emergency alert system so the disabled person can call for aid if they slip or fall while in the shower. Make sure the pull cord is easy to reach from the areas a fall is most likely to happen.
One-Day Remodeling Can Make a Huge Difference
There’s no need to spend a fortune on a bathroom remodeling project. Small things such as replacing an old, worn tub with a more modern one with lower tub rails or a walk-in shower can make a huge difference to bathroom accessibility. At Thompson Creek, we offer tub and shower upgrades custom-made to suit your bathroom, making it easy to get the perfect look.
Tub replacement is something that can be done in a single day, assuming the existing plumbing is suitable. You can then focus on other small improvements for bathroom accessibility for disabilities, creating a stylish and accessible bathroom in no time.
To learn more about our tub and shower replacement options, contact the Thompson Creek experts today.