A typical bathroom can cause many problems for the elderly and the handicapped people. Not only is accessibility a challenge but it can also be very difficult to use, by those with limited mobility. Not to mention the various risks of injuring oneself. The feature of a regular bathroom needs to be remodeled in order to make it fit for the use by the elderly and the handicapped. The main aim is that the people with disability should have the freedom to use the bathroom with little or minimum help. The bathroom should be such that it reduces the risk of any accidental injuries. An effective bathroom design will make the life easier for the physically challenged individual as well as other members of the household. So, if you are looking for an handicap friendly bathroom then go through the article below for the design guidelines.
Bathroom Designs Guidelines For The Elderly And Handicapped
- The doorways must be wide enough to accommodate the wheelchairs and walkers. It is better to keep the doorways a minimum of 32 inches wide.
- The doors must swing outwards rather than inwards. This precaution is of utmost importance because if someone falls inside then an inward swinging door can get blocked. You can also go for pocket doors.
- Make the door threshold even with the doorway. This will make the movement of the wheelchair easy and also remove the risk of their getting tripped.
- The bathroom should be large enough to allow the wheelchair to turn freely. As such, the area should be at least a five-foot circle.
- Install the shower without any barriers. The toilet should be at the height of 16 ½ inches without the seat so that it is easy for someone in a wheelchair.
- The sink should be at a height where it is at a chest level when sitting on the wheel chair. The sink should also have a knee room underneath.
- Place all the shelves and trays in a position where they can be accessed while sitting. Do not block any access with vanity cabinets.
- Use lever handles instead of latches as the elderly and the handicapped may find it hard to open the hard-to-open latches.
- The bathtub faucet controls should be installed on the entry side of the tub so that they can be reached easily. The faucets should be single-handled or lever type so that it doesn’t require a strong grip to operate. The faucet should have temperature control that limits the water temperature to prevent scalding.
- You can also fix a handheld showerhead on a slide bar. This will make it easier to adjust the height. Also, install a seat at the head of the tub or inside the shower enclosure.
- The lighting should be bright. However, keep alternative low lighting also to prevent blinding.
- Fix ‘L’ shaped, horizontal or vertical grab bars in the toilet tub and shower area.
- The tub and shower enclosures should be impact resistant. Also, fix the doors with door locks that can be opened from outside in case of an emergency.