When someone in the family becomes disabled or a disabled relative is welcomed to move into the home, the property owners start thinking about how to plan a bathroom renovation. They don’t want the room to look institutional, so they seek designs that are attractive and yet very functional for someone with mobility problems. Other remodeling changes for this room can be undertaken at the same time, some of which can enhance the aesthetics of the room to divert a person’s view from railings and other mobility-friendly features.
Depending on the size of the room or the possibility of expansion, homeowners may want to have a larger shower area installed or eliminate a bathtub in favor of a walk-in shower. A permanent bench can be built in the shower area so a person who experiences weakness, balance issues or problems with coordination can sit instead of stand. Water taps that can easily be accessed from the bench are important, and that’s true for a spray apparatus as well. Handle taps that are pushed and pulled are easier for people with arthritis or weak grips.
Grab bars placed strategically around the room are essential for safety. Statistics show that elderly individuals are more likely to fall while maneuvering at the toilet, and a disabled person of any age may have trouble getting up from this fixture or maintaining good balance. In addition, grab bars in the shower and just outside of the shower should be provided as well. If the person who will be using this bathroom needs a wheelchair to get around, the bathroom can be designed for this accommodation too. Features can be placed lower so the person can reach them without standing. Light switches may need to be lowered as well as water-access fixtures.
An open floor plan is advisable for a bathroom intended for a disabled individual. Floor cabinetry typically is eliminated; towels and other items can be kept in a linen closet near this room. The person may be using a walker or cane, or may not use any adaptive equipment. Nevertheless, all tripping hazards must be removed.