The bathroom, although not always apparent, can be the most dangerous place for people with physical or cognitive disabilities. Without the proper layout, and non-slip materials on floors and walls, one may slip and fall, causing significant injuries. Fortunately, ADL provides many approaches that will make it easier and safer for one to use their shower, sink or toilet.
Typical Bathroom Modification
Your typical bathroom modification usually consists of converting a conventional bathtub to a walk-in, or roll-in shower. Please click here to see the list of a standard bathroom modification.
Using Your Toilet
Many safety issues come into play when having to use the toilet. We recommend installing a grab bar or a P.T rail. A grab bar is usually installed along the side of a toilet, and also across the back wall of the toilet.
A P.T rail is a wall-mounted or floor-mounted grab bar with pivot support design. This product is typically installed beside the toilet. A pivot will allow one to fold the rail in a 45 degree position.
Grab bars help individuals stabilize themselves, when sitting, or getting up from the toilet.
Changing the height of a toilet is also an option. A 'comfort height' toilet reduces the distance from the standing to sitting position.
Sink and Water Controls
Individuals in a wheelchair may encounter difficulty when reaching a standard sink. An ideal solution is to install a wall mounted sink, or a 'roll-under' sink.
Wall-mounted bathroom sinks, are not only space saving, but are ideal for people with restricted movement.
A 'roll-under' sink usually has a bigger counter, but works just the same way as the wall mounted version.
All exposed pipes should always be covered or insulated to prevent leg burns.
An accessible shower is a practical modification when creating an inclusive design. Today, many home owners are removing their existing bathtubs and replacing them with a shower system. Accessible Daily Living Corporation will implement a shower system based on inclusive design and remove the risk of injury and/or a fall.
Our inclusive design provides an easy transition in and out of the shower, for people of all age groups and disability. There are many variables to consider when designing your accessible shower; do you require a shower bench/seat built-in? Is a hand held shower head required? And how many grab bars and what type do you require?
The benefits of an accessible shower are significant. The ability to regain a level of independence, while performing personal hygiene tasks is of the upmost importance to the vast population of individuals, who are affected by visible and non-visible disabilities.
Components of Shower Modification:
One of the most beneficial features of an accessible shower is that it has no thresholds, sliding doors or barriers. It allows for seamless transition in and out. Those who require a wheelchair can simply roll into the shower without struggling to open a shower door. The implementation of an accessible shower will make any bathroom appear larger, and look and feel less cramped and confined.
Standard bathtubs are difficult to maintain. Some styles of bathtub models are small and confined. This can make it challenging when attempting to clean the corners, which can cause bacteria, mold growth, and discoloration. A walk-in/roll-in shower is quicker and more efficient to clean than any traditional shower.
Sit or Stand
An accessible shower provides the flexibility of either sitting or standing. The ability to incorporate a built-in seat or to use a wheeled commode or bath bench is ideal. The shower can prove dangerous. Creating a safe and accessible shower environment is of the upmost importance for individuals with a disability.
Accessible showers traditionally have fewer components with a simple design in mind. Unlike traditional shower/bathtub applications, it is comprised of either non-slip tile or fibreglass with a water-proof membrane ideally applied underneath. It is strongly recommended that any installation of an accessible shower should be uniform, with no deviation from the type of material used (non-slip tile/fibreglass).
For those individuals with greater mobility a walk-in tub may be used. There are many variations to the walk-in tub. The ability to sit in a molded seat and be able to bath is beneficial to individuals with circulatory conditions. In order to determine if you are a candidate for a walk-in tub, it always best to consult with a regulated health professional and if you would like, we can make that contact for you.
Depending on the disability a walk-in tub may or may not be suitable.
To create truly inclusive design, other components are required to make the shower area safe, usable and provide a level of independence to the end user.
Please see the following list of helpful accessories:
- Hand held shower wand
- Long handle bath brush
- Bath bench
- Wheeled bath commode
- Grab bars
- Shower caddy/storage
- ADA lever handle mixing valve
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