Tips when remodelling a bathroom to accommodate a disabled person

04 Apr

As people become older and less mobile, their needs change, and sometimes it’s necessary to make adjustments to the home in order to make some areas more accessible and disability-friendly. 

Here are some tips for adapting your bathroom to make it more accessible for a disabled person.

Ease of movement

A wheelchair-user will require a large turning area for their chair and a suitable surface on which it can roll. So replace carpeting with tiles. These are a more practical option for a bathroom and they also facilitate ease of movement for a wheelchair. You could also install a shower without a screen to save space and make moving around easier.

Someone in a wheelchair will not be able to reach the sink if it has vanity units underneath it. Make sure the basin is at a suitable height and remove any under-sink obstructions.

Fixtures and fittings

If you have a bathtub, always make sure that the taps are fitted on the side nearest the open room so that they can be easily reached. This means that the user won’t need to lean across the bath to reach the taps, and they can also be accessed from a wheelchair. Choose lever taps or mixer designs with a single handle for easier operation.

When upgrading your shower, a wall-mounted, hand-held unit is a good idea. A glide rod design is also useful as this enables the user to change the height of the shower head to suit. Install a seat or bench in the shower stall so that the user doesn’t have to stand up to take a shower. Special removable seats are also available for the bathtub. 

Choose a shower tap with a pressure-balancing valve that will prevent sudden fluctuations in temperature. To avoid the risk of scalding, set your household boiler or thermostat to limit the water temperature.

Grab rails are an important addition to the bathroom. Position them near the taps in the bath, in the shower stall and at the bathroom entrance. In case someone falls while using the shower or bathtub, always use impact-resistant enclosures.

Make sure the floor tiles that you choose are nonslip. 

In conclusion

If you share your home with a disabled person, the bathroom is one area that will need adaptations for their safety and comfort. For more information and advice on remodelling your bathroom, why not contact the experts at BPM Bathrooms.