- Bathroom accidents are a widespread concern, with over 235,000 people above the age of 15 seeking emergency care each year due to bathroom-related injuries.
- Designing an accessible bathroom is necessary to make using the bathroom easy and independent for everyone, regardless of their age or condition.
- Consider family needs, create space, choose baths wisely, add grab bars, use non-slip flooring, and implement emergency calls for safety and independence.
Bathroom accidents are a widespread concern, with over 235,000 people above the age of 15 seeking emergency care each year due to bathroom-related injuries, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
These incidents affect all age groups, becoming more frequent in older individuals, peaking after the age of 85. Shockingly, more than one-third of these accidents occur during bathing or showering, with over 14 percent happening while using the toilet.
Using the bathroom should be easy and independent for everyone. Thus, it is necessary to have an idea of how to design an accessible bathroom. In this article, we’ll explore the features needed to create a safe and secure bathroom for every family member, no matter their age or condition.
When designing an accessible bathroom, starting with a thorough assessment of your family’s specific needs is essential. This step is the foundation upon which the entire design will be built.
For instance, consider whether you need to accommodate a family member who uses a wheelchair or a walker. Take into account any mobility challenges they face, such as difficulty standing or maintaining balance.
Read more here: Essential Tips for Supporting Someone with a Recent Injury
Creating adequate floor space is a fundamental element in designing an accessible bathroom. This space is essential for accommodating mobility aids like wheelchairs or walkers.
Consider an open floor plan that allows individuals with mobility challenges to move around freely. This design should minimize obstructions and obstacles within the bathroom.
Oftentimes, incidents and bathroom hazards happen because of slips and slides inside; thus, common and essential additional features are a must.
Installing grab bars and handles strategically throughout the accessible bathroom is vital for enhancing safety and stability. These fixtures play a crucial role in providing support for individuals with mobility issues.
Remember to position grab bars near the toilet, in the shower or bathtub, and by the sink. These are high-traffic areas where individuals may need support while sitting, standing, or moving.
In case you missed it: 10 Strategic Areas for Grab Bars, Safety Poles & Handrails in Your Home
The shower or bathtub choice is a critical aspect of bathroom accessibility. Different options cater to various needs and mobility levels:
A tub cut-out or tub-to-shower conversion is a modification made to an existing bathtub to improve accessibility and safety, particularly for individuals with mobility issues. It is a more accessible and step-in shower area within the bathtub.
Ideal for wheelchair users as they have no curb, roll-in showers allow a smooth transition from the wheelchair into the shower. They should also have non-slip flooring to prevent accidents.
Provide a low step for entry, making it easier for individuals with mobility challenges to access the bathtub. They often come with built-in seating.
For individuals who may need to sit while showering, transfer showers equipped with a built-in seat are a suitable choice. These showers are designed for easy transfers from a wheelchair.
In all cases, non-slip flooring is essential to ensure safety in wet areas and to prevent accidental slips and falls.
An emergency call system can be a lifeline in an accessible bathroom, offering users and caregivers peace of mind. This system typically includes features like an emergency pull cord or a button that, when activated, sends an alert to caregivers or a monitoring service.
Implementing this system is especially important for individuals who may require immediate assistance due to a fall or medical emergency. In addition, this feature is one of the practical features in a home that is a must for individuals living with mobility issues and retirees.
Ensuring everyone has comfort and ease in one of the rooms that should provide us with the utmost convenience is a necessity.
Learning how to design an accessible bathroom for its universal use provides each person with effortlessness with every use. It reduces injuries and provides support to people with disabilities, retirees, and mobility issues, promoting independence through these helpful features.