Accessible Bathroom Design
Accessible bathroom design has become a large motivation for remodeling, as aging in place is now a popular option for many seniors seeking to remain as independent as possible, for as long as possible. As a result, many home renovation projects among seniors and younger homeowners have begun to focus on making an existing home more accessible to individuals as they age.
Accessibility renovations typically involve making a home’s interior more easily navigable and upgrading fixtures to make them easier to operate by those using wheelchairs or walkers as well as those with arthritis or other health conditions that make mobility or use of the arms and hands problematic.
When considering the accessibility of a home, the bathroom is probably the most critical areas to address. While the kitchen may also require a change in fixtures or changes to layout to allow easier access to appliances, asking for help in the kitchen – while not ideal – isn’t as personally distressing as asking for help in a bathroom. Renovating a bathroom allows seniors as well as disabled individuals to retain control over their most personal time in the home, which is one of the reasons why many homeowners interested in making their homes more accessible consider bathroom renovations to be at the top of their “to do” list.
When considering which renovations to incorporate, keep these goals in mind:
Efficiency and Organization
- Keep shelves low so supplies like soap, toilet paper and even cleaning supplies can be easily accessed.
- Consider adding a seat near the tub or shower area to provide a location to sit or rest while getting dressed and undressed.
- Ideally, plan storage areas so they may be expanded as needs change and are able to accommodate larger or bulk supplies or special equipment.
- Tubs with low sides and walk-in showers make bathing more efficient and less time-consuming.
- Choose fixtures with round edges and simple lines to make cleaning easier.
- No-slip textured flooring options help provide sure footing; non-slip tile options are better than bath mats which can cause trips and falls.
- Grab bars near the toilet and in the shower stall or tub are essential for avoiding falls while bathing. Position bars along the back wall and along the side to provide support when entering and exiting as well.
- Consider replacing towel bars with grab bars to provide extra support in the rest of the bathroom.
- In addition to a bright overhead light fixture, add lights around the vanity area to aid in makeup application, shaving and tooth-brushing, and to make it easier to read labels on medication bottles and other health and beauty supplies.
- Low-sided tubs ,wheel-in showers, or converting an existing bathtub into a shower also help make bathing safer.
- If you’re thinking about adding a shower seat, consider a folding option without legs to avoid tripping hazards.
- Choose fixtures that can accommodate all family members to ensure the space meets everyone’s needs.
- Shower heads on rail mounts can be moved up and down for people of different heights as well as those using shower chairs.
- If you have space for two sinks, consider installing one lower for children and those in wheelchairs.
- When possible, leave space to allow for use of special hoists and harnesses that can safely lift disabled individuals into and out of the shower or tub or onto the toilet.
- Updating a home for accessibility is a wise investment in your home and in yourself and your loved ones. Planning your space to accommodate the needs of everyone isn’t an easy task. When considering accessible bathroom renovation Ontario has a lot of options to consider. Hire a professional with experience in accessibility renovations and upgrades to make sure the changes meet your needs and can be completed within a reasonable time frame. Although the initial investment in specially designed fixtures like tubs and showers may seem high compared to standard fixtures, unlike conventional fixtures, those designed for accessibility will accommodate your evolving needs for many, many years.Contact us if you’d like a quote for accessible bathroom remodeling.