Making a Bathroom Accessible and Functional

Bathrooms around the world, despite the evidence that supports the need for new features and plans have not changed much. The tubs, vanities, and the general layout of the bathroom continue to accommodate the manufacture, the plumbing conventions, and the average person who is installing a bathroom. But modern day bathrooms should be made and accessible by everyone that needs to use it.

Designating a bathrooms role can be a fairly complex one. There should be one full bathroom in each accessible floor of the home. In a larger house, there should be a bathroom in each section of the home. Unless of course the home is a small one, plan on having a minimum of two bathrooms. This solves a couple of problems, first, one may be public and the other one a private one. A public bath should be placed so that it can be reached by guests without them having to go into the private bathroom.

Providing enough space needs to be planned so that the people using the bathroom have enough space to change and so forth without having the burden of bumping into fixtures, shelves, etc. The bathroom and shower should provide clear space and another thing that is very important is having secured handholds so elderly individuals will feel safe when using the bathroom.

Another problem that can arise is having toilets that are too low. Some people have a problem with this because they are having chronic knee or leg ailments that do not allow them to bend without help. There are handicap toilets that are an 18 inches height to accommodate those with this problem. Bathtubs and showers are also available with the handicap in mind. More handrails can be installed around and in the bathtubs and showers and the tub itself can be elevated to a height of 18 inches to 20 inches to make getting in and out easier.

The sink is another feature of a bathroom that can be altered to handle the elderly. A wheelchair accessible sink needs to be about 29 inches of clearance to make room for the wheelchair. More handles and bars again can be installed helping the person grab onto if need be. Nonslip surfaces may be something that most people do not take into consideration, but if you are installing a bathroom for an elderly person who is prone to falling, the nonslip surface is a must. A slippery floor is a major health hazard for the disabled and the elderly alike, so the nonslip surface will no doubt be different for every situation that arises.

All of these suggestions are a good point to start at. They are all designed to help and make the bathroom experience as pleasant as possible.