If you have a disabled person in your family or have recently become disabled yourself, making sure that your home is easy and safe for everyday life will be a number one priority.
One of the most important rooms to think about when adding features for disabled access is the bathroom. Even for able-bodied people the bathroom holds a host of hazards, so you need to make sure that you do all you can to make your bathroom safe and easy to use.
If you need to adapt your bathroom for wheelchair use, the first challenge that you’ll face is ensuring easy access to the space.
Doorways should be at least three foot wide and ideally you should have four feet of clear space in front of any fixtures, to allow ease of use. If you’ve got the room, try to have the centre of your bathroom clear of clutter and furnishings. A diameter of around five feet is perfect for someone in a wheelchair to move around easily.
Showers can be a real hazard for both the disabled and the elderly. To make them easier and safer to use, you may need to consider investing in a brand new shower unit from Premier Bathrooms.
Having a unit that’s flush to the floor – i.e. doesn’t require the user to step up or down to enter – and with a wide doorway will help disabled people to use the shower more easily.
You also need to consider installing a shower seat and an adjustable showerhead and controls for ease of use.
3. Grab rails
Grab rails not only help to prevent trips and falls, they also help disabled people to move around a bathroom and use all of the fixtures easily.
Grab rails can be installed fairly cheaply in most bathrooms and are most useful around the bath and toilet, but you need to consider the height at which they’re fitted to ensure they are effective. You also need to ensure they’re fitted professionally and securely without any chance of danger, damage or injury.
4. Bath mats
Bath mats are a cheap, discreet and practical addition to any bathroom and can make a huge difference to the accessibility of disabled people.
Placing special non-slip mats in the shower, bath and on the floor can dramatically prevent slips and falls. This will give the elderly and disabled a lot more confidence when using the space and can prevent nasty accidents.
5. Water temperature
Scalds and burns are a serious consideration, especially for those who have lost sensitivity in their extremities. To help prevent burns you can invest in a mixing tap that limits the temperature to around 50˚C, eradicating the problem altogether.
Adapting a bathroom for disabled use is fairly straight forward; all it requires is a little bit of common sense and understanding. So if you or someone you care about needs a more accessible bathroom, why not get started today.