For people living with a disability or being reliant on a wheelchair, life can be challenging and simple everyday tasks we all take for granted, such as taking a shower, can be incredibly difficult. Disability inclusive bathrooms are not only a necessity for hygiene, they make life safer, easier and more dignified, and increase independence for people with mobility issues and disabilities. Budget Plumbing Centre is home to a large range of bathroom supplies and bathroom accessories for bathrooms of all sizes, styles and types. Read on to learn about the things you should consider when adapting your bathroom to improve accessibility.
What is an Accessible Bathroom?
Accessible bathrooms are specifically designed to provide enough space to accommodate wheelchair access and assistance when transferring from wheelchair to toilet, shower or bath.
It provides easy access and enables mobility-impaired users to utilise bathroom facilities as independently as possible.
How to Adapt Your Current Bathroom
If you are renovating your bathroom to allow for greater accessibility there are a few alterations and considerations to keep in mind. The following changes are helpful for people with a wide range of disabilities.
Used for a variety of everyday tasks from hand-washing to brushing teeth, a basin is an essential fitting that needs to be easily accessible. The basin should be mounted on the wall at a reachable height and with no cabinets underneath to accommodate a wheelchair. Semi-recessed sinks are often a smart option for this.
A vital component of any accessible bathroom, adapted or modified toilets are available in many varieties toilets should be suspended at a height which suits the user, be ergonomic and equipped with a tilting mechanism. When it comes to adapting the toilet area for wheelchair users, grab rails on each side are usually recommended and the toilet roll holder should be fitted a height that is within easy reach.
An accessible shower needs to be large so that a wheelchair user can easily manoeuvre themselves and it should include a sturdy and comfortable shower seat. The entrance to the shower space should be clear from steps or frames for ease of use and there should also be grab rails fitted within the shower area for extra support. Frameless shower screens are an ideal option as are sliding shower screen doors. You should also consider anti-slip flooring and mats to prevent falls as well as a removable hand-held shower head with a hose as this can help with manoeuvrability when washing and cleaning.
Accessible baths also need to take into consideration transfer from wheelchair and space limitations, and allow for enough space for users to get safely in and out. Non-slip mats and grab rails should also be installed. Walk-in tubs which allow for a user to walk into the tub without having to climb over the side are an often an ideal choice.
- Storage compartments in reach of the user will keep the space clutter free and ensure toiletries are within easy reach.
- Consider where the best access is for all bathroom accessories such as bathroom towel rails, robe hooks, soap dishes, toothbrush holders and shower shelves.
- Lower the hot water maximum heat temperature to prevent burns.
- Lighting should be carefully considered to maximise safety with overhead lights in shower and lower light switches with easy-press buttons.
- For extra accessibility, hydraulic chair lifts or sling-type lifts can make transfers in the bathroom a much easier and a much more comfortable process.
Making your bathroom accessible to wheelchair users increases safety and helps the users feel more comfortable, confident and independent. If you are wanting to adapt your bathroom to suit a wheelchair user, Budget Plumbing Centre can help. With a huge range of bathroom supplies and bathroom accessories in Perth, we have everything you need from grab rails to shower seats. Visit one of our conveniently located centres or shop online now.