As the saying goes, ‘most accidents happen at home’.
As a place in the home that we find ourselves visiting numerous times a day, the bathroom can unfortunately be hazardous to those with mobility issues.
With more and more individuals choosing to be comfortable at home, designing a bathroom that accommodates for functional needs is becoming more apparent.
Knowing what to consider is key to designing a comprehensive and well thought-out bathroom.
When designing a bathroom with safety in mind, it can be hard to know where to start.
A good place to begin is to consider the mobility and health status of those who will frequent the bathroom. Once you have identified these needs, you can then consider the following changes:
When we think of a toilet that is future proofed for the elderly or those with disabilities, the first adjustment we consider is the installation of handrail support.
While this is a great way to assist the user with standing up and getting on and off the toilet, there are other ways you can approach this.
Consider a seat extender and the height of the toilet.
Ensuring the toilet is at an appropriate height will be extremely helpful to those who have reduced movement and need assistance when getting on and off the toilet.
While some people might experience pain in their legs or back, others might have reduced mobility in their hands. This is why it’s important to also consider the ease of use of the toilet’s flushing mechanism.
Everyone uses their shower differently, just as everyone has different physical requirements. Installing a handrail might seem like an easy solution, but there is a lot more than can be done to suit the user’s mobility.
Some people might benefit from the installation of a bath seat or ledge while for others this could be considered a hazard.
If you’re looking to give the user more independence during their shower, then consider a detachable showerhead. A detachable showerhead allows the person to bathe themselves while sitting down.
Removing hazards is the best way to prevent accidents in the shower, regardless of mobility status.
A great way to minimise accidents is to install non-slip flooring or mats on your shower floor.
This will help prevent dangerous slips and falls.
Stepping over the side of a bathtub might be easy for some of us, but for others it is an impossible task.
As well as a wheelchair accessible bathroom design, bathtubs now come with design features such as doors which can improve ease of entry.
Handrail support can also be extremely helpful for those who need assistance pulling themselves out of the bath.
These rails do not need to come at the cost of a stylish bathroom. Many interior and bathroom designers now have handrail support which can come in a variety of sleek designs to suit your bathroom.
The basin is the most versatile area of the bathroom as it is used for numerous activities including face washing, teeth brushing, and washing your hands.
While these seem like small easy day-to-day activities, they can be a real struggle to anyone who has poor hand strength or suffers from visual impairment.
Basin designs for people with a disability can include a larger sink to reduce mess, and a sensor activated tap for ease of use.
Don’t forget: all taps whether it is your shower, bath, or basin need to be clearly labelled to prevent burns.
An easy-to-use disabled bathroom design is one that is specific to the user’s mobility and physical needs.
Future proofing involves more than just thinking about your current mobility. It’s also about considering how your range of movement will change over time. People are more likely to experience joint and muscular pain with age which results in decreased mobility.
When designing a bathroom, keep in mind the distance between the basin and the toilet.
Allow for enough space to avoid exhaustion but also provide a safe distance to minimise potential head-hitting hazards should someone slip or fall.
People can experience muscle deterioration or loss of strength for a variety of reasons.
Unfortunately, a loss of strength over time can start to make the most simple tasks such as sitting on the toilet or getting out of the bath more difficult.
A few adjustments that can be made to improve comfort include raising the toilet seat height so it is easier for the user to sit down and get up, and installing handrails so the user has something they can hold onto when they need to support themselves.
Not all disabilities are mobility and strength based.
Those living with visual impairment are also at risk of accidents when using the bathroom.
There are numerous design features that can be included to accommodate those with visual impairment.
While hand railings serve as a helpful guide, motion detector taps and lighting, as well as a low-toilet and bath can help prevent accidents.
The Victorian Bathroom Company understands the importance of getting to know the client and their needs.
We take time to understand the user’s current capabilities as well as how these might change in the future.
From here, we can then design a layout with maximum comfort and user-friendliness while also being stylish and appealing.
We have technology which allows us to develop a visualisation of the bathroom before any renovations take place.
This helps keep things cost-effective and timely for the client while ensuring the project moves smoothly with an end result that is personal to the client’s needs.
Your bathroom is something that should be easy to use and safe.
As we get to know the client, we identify what we can do to make things easier and what equipment can be installed to achieve this.
Design is a key part of renovating and creating a safe bathroom, if you want to know more about the specifics of a bathroom designed for those with needs then see our Bathroom Renovation for Elderly and Disabled page.
Future proofing your bathroom to suit disabilities does not need to take away from the style of your bathroom.
With our dedicated design, supply & install elderly and disabled service we will help you keep your bathroom safe, stylish, and user friendly.