The key to making a bathroom disability friendly is to design it around its user. When doing this it is important to consider their level of mobility. What is equally essential is that the bathroom provides as much independence and privacy as possible. It should be a hygienic and relaxing place that all members of the family can enjoy using. So what five concepts should you focus on when creating a disability friendly bathroom?
Level of mobility will affect the type of equipment you buy. Bathing solutions are available for those who have some mobility and for people who only have use of their upper body. There are also options for those who need powered assistance. When choosing a bath consider whether the user needs minimal assistance or an option that provides a leg raiser to carry legs over the side of the bath.
Having access to hygienic toileting is vital. Shower toilets have built in shower, drying and air purifying functions. They provide a hands free alternative to toilet paper and self flush via infra-red. Height adjustable hand basins compliment the hygienic toileting experience and are designed so that the whole family can use them.
We all want to be as independent as possible and that is especially desirable when using a bathroom. When laying out plans incorporate small adjustments so that towels, soap and cosmetics can be reached easily. Always consider what can be done to help the user move freely and with as little assistance as possible.
Screens, intercom systems and automatic doors provide the user with more privacy. If installing a screen still allows the bathroom to be accessed by a wheelchair user then putting one up is a great option. A helper can then enter the room and the privacy of the user is still intact. An intercom system allows easy communication with others outside the bathroom. Privacy is improved for wheelchair users when using an automatic door entry system as opening and closing doors is hard and leaving the door open is compromising.
Carefully chosen lighting and paint colours can help create a relaxing environment. Earthy paint tones will make the room feel more warm and inviting. Light fittings don’t have to be on the ceiling, they can be wall mounted to frame a mirror or suspended to create a more atmospheric ambiance.