Top Things to Consider When Installing a Handicap Bathroom in Your Home
With American’s aging population, many are giving serious thought to ways they can make their homes safe and comfortable in our later years. 33 million Americans have some disability that makes it difficult for them to carry on the activities of daily living. 2.2 million Americans are using wheelchairs today; 6.5 million are using assistance devices such as a walker, a cane, or crutches.1 It is essential for many homeowners to install or update their bathrooms to a handicap accessible bathroom. Wolfschmidt Plumbing, Heating & Cooling installs handicapped bathrooms featuring name-brand and trusted equipment. We don’t sacrifice quality. We improve the convenience for people with disabilities and their caregivers. If you are thinking of installing a handicap bathroom in your home, there are a few things you will want to consider when exploring your options.
Entryways, Floors, and Walls
The doorways need to be widened to 34” and ample room must be given for access to all of the fixtures in the room. The door should open outward to maximize the space inside the room. Floors should be level and clear of all obstacles. Make towel bars, hooks, soap dishes and brush holders at an accessible height.
- Walk-In Tubs or Showers
Choosing a walk-in tub or shower will allow a handicapped user to have easier access in and out. It’s also a good idea to have water controls within easy reach so that no one has to struggle to reach and adjust the water. Some bathrooms may need to be outfitted with lifts and transfer seating. Keep in mind that the caregiver needs room to assist the person with disabilities.
- Vanity, Sink, and Faucet
The sink should be mounted taking into consideration the person using the bathroom, usually no more than 34” high. The vanity area should be clear under the sink to allow room for the person’s knees to fit beneath the sink area. The mirror should be lowered, or lengthened or tilt down to be better used.
- Non-Scalding Faucet Adjustments
Installing non-scalding faucet adjustments is the safest way to ensure that you don’t get hurt when turning the water on and off in the tub. This allows you to limit the water temperature of the tub and shower to no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Handsfree Toilet Flushing
Hands-free flushing makes it easier for people who are unable to reach, grasp, and hold. Have other hands-free items installed in your bathroom as well, so someone doesn’t have to worry about grabbing onto things if they are unable.
The toilet area of your bathroom needs to be changed to make the bathroom usable for persons with disabilities. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right toilet options for your bathroom.
- The height should be adjusted to about 18” high.
- If adjusting the commode height is not an option, a thicker toilet seat can be installed to add height.
- The height of the paper roll should be adjusted to accommodate the placement of the toilet.
Grab bars should be installed at a proper height and distance from the shower, tub and toilet so that anyone using them has help getting up by themselves.
You need adequate lighting in your new bathroom to ensure everyone can see clearly, whether they are taking a bath or putting on makeup. If possible, use natural light, which is better to see by.
Think of having light switches on the wall lowered so that your loved one can easily reach them from their wheelchair. If your loved one still has problems with light switches, consider putting in motion detectors that will turn on the lights when they enter the room.
Will the disabled person need medical supplies or equipment in the bathroom and how should these items be placed? Careful consideration should be given to the deterioration in the future for those using the bathroom. Expertise in long range planning together with a company who is familiar with outfitting and installing a handicap bathroom is critical. Wolfschmidt Plumbing, Heating & Cooling knows about the details large and small to make your handicap bathroom, accessible, convenient, safe and economical. Do your best to protect the handicapped loved one in your home; call or contact the professionals at Wolfschmidt Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today.
1 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention