Many of us may have a loved one who requires assistance due to medical, mental, or psychological limitations. For all of them, regular activities can represent a real challenge, especially when it comes to bathrooms.
The bathroom can be one of the most dangerous places in our home. You would be surprised how many accidents occur while we are in the bathroom, whether it is: taking a shower, after a shower, walking around, getting ready for work, or looking at our phones, with our bear feet, while on a wet floor (I do that ☹).
Did you know that 2/3 of ER visits are due to bathroom falls? That’s right! The bathtub and the shower are one of the most hazardous areas for children, adults, and elders.
This is why bathroom designs should be safe for everyone. The good news is that all of this can be done without sacrificing elegance, luxury, and style.
These are a few things to consider when designing a bathroom for people with disabilities:
A small bathroom stool or shower bench is an ideal item. In my opinion, the bathroom chair is a must for all of us. You decide whether the shower bench is a removable item or fixed to the wall. They can be used for: Shaving, meditation, relaxation, safety, or whatever you want. I personally use the one that’s in the picture below (Décor Walther is my Favorite); I put it under my shower head and let the water fall over my body until I become a big raisin; this usually helps me to get rid of stress. 😊
The crobless shower is one of the best options for people using a wheelchair or for someone who is at risk of falling. These shower designs can be ideal for everyone regardless of physical limitations.
This type of bathtubs allows a user to walk in the tub without having to climb over the side of a wet “regular” bathtub.
Install Grab Bars in the Bathing Area
Grab Bars are useful for all of us. There are many ways to allocate them around your bathroom. Bathroom Grab Bars have a simple design and are the most effective way to be safe. There are three ways to use them: Vertical, Horizontal, and Diagonal.
Vertical: Vertical bars are easy to grip; these bars help people to keep their balance and mobility around the space.
Horizontal: Horizontal bars help people to rotate their bodies. They come in handy when a person wants to stand up, sit down, get in, or get out of the wheelchair.
Diagonal: Diagonal Grab Bars can accommodate different heights; it also allows a better motion in both hands and wrists while helping a smoothly transition from sitting to standing.
A Sink Should be mounted on the wall with no cabinet underneath for both standing and seated users. The idea is to provide enough space to protect both knees and feet. (I usually hit my pinky toe against my vanity so, no cabinet, no problem).
Install a Single-Handle Faucet
When it comes to faucets, we recommend those with an easy turn on / off valve. In this case, a faucet needs to be adjusted without having to grab or twist your hands too much (If you have the budget, install a free-hands faucet with sensors).
Install a Long Bathroom Mirror
Bathroom Toilet Accessibility
The ADA (American Disability Act) guidelines and recommendations indicate that a toilet must be 17”- 19” high. This is the most comfortable measure for all users. This is true since a taller seat makes it easier to lower, stand, or transfer a wheelchair/walker to the toilet. Don’t forget to install at least one grab bar on one side of the toilet at a distance of 18” for better accessibility.
Few General Rules for Bathroom Access and Safety
- An accessible bathroom needs to be 30” x 48” adjacent to all bathroom fixtures.
- A door into the bathroom should be minimum of 34” wide for wheelchair users.
- Shower doors that swing outwards is preferred for better space and maneuvering.
- Avoid loose bathmats
- Provide easy access to storage & compartments
- Use bathroom accessories that can resist big falls and oxidation
The Finishing Touch
There are many things we can do when it comes to design a safety bathroom without losing the touch of elegance and style. Choose fixtures that are comfortable and convenient. Use Brass, Gold, Ceramic, or resin bath accessories to increase the level of luxury in your bathroom. Add beautiful soap dispensers, soap dishes, towel racks, laundry hampers, trash cans, towel & robe hooks, and more. No matter what your favorite store may be, always chose quality over price. You won’t regret it!