How to Make a Bathroom Accessible for the Mobility-Impaired
If you have mobility limitations, the bathroom can pose its own complex set of problems. Since a bathroom is often the smallest room in a house, there might not be adequate space to use a walker or wheelchair. In addition, hard, slippery surfaces increase the risk of dangerous falls. The combination of mobility challenges all in one room can render the bathroom completely inaccessible. Fortunately, there are many affordable solutions that can help eliminate risks and turn your home and bathroom into a safe sanctuary that supports your independence.
Replace hard to grip doorknobs and facet handles with lever style mechanisms that are easier to operate.
- Widen doorways to allow for easy access for those who use a walker or wheelchair.
- Lower shelving so that wheelchair users can easily access towels and toiletries.
- Wheelchair users may also benefit from installing a lower toilet that makes transfers easier. On the other hand, ambulatory users may opt for a raised toilet seat that will make it easier to sit and stand.
- Grab bars can installed around the toilet area and inside and outside the shower to provide stable and secure support.
- Install non-slip bath mats and make sure that they are securely in place in order to increase traction and prevent falls.
- Shower chairs offer another simple solution that will prevent bathers from having to stand for long periods of time. Used in conjunction with a hand-held shower-head, and almost anyone can enjoy a safe shower.
- Increase lighting throughout the bathroom and all areas of the home. This common sense solution will help anyone avoid obstacles and tripping hazards.
If simple adjustments to your bathroom won’t be enough to significantly improve your safety and mobility, there are more comprehensive solutions available on the market.
Bath lifts are simple devices that can quickly be installed and are designed to gently lower you into and raise you out of your existing tub. To operate, all you have to do is push a button on the convenient, user friendly remote control. For many, owning a bath lift means being able to bathe without assistance.
Another solution is to install a walk in tub, which come in a variety of styles and sizes to accommodate a wide range of needs. In general, walk in tubs allow the bather to sit at about chair height while taking an actual bath. Instead of having to step high to get into a bathtub, the step-in is usually only about 5" or 6" high.
Once inside of a walk in tub, a person can choose to fill it with water for a bath or use the handheld sprayer for a shower. Walk-in tubs also generally take up less space and are easier to clean. Customers can also choose a model that offers whirlpool features like air and water jets that can help increase circulation and provide a whole host of other therapeutic benefits.
Ultimately, walk-in-tubs are the perfect tool to help facilitate independent living and allow anyone to age in place. Compared to the cost of moving into a nursing home or hiring a home health aide to help you bathe, walk-in-tubs are an incredible value. They also provide a long list of benefits that go beyond simply overcoming physical limitations. The ability to age in place has also been linked to mental health and happiness. Installing a walk in tub can increase mobility and help users preserve their dignity as they age.
Mobility challenges don’t have to mean a loss of independence. There are a variety of available solutions that can increase your safety and make your bathroom completely accessible to the mobility impaired.
AmeriGlide has the best deals around on walk in tubs for the elderly or mobility-impaired. Call our experts now to learn more.