Basics of Bathroom Safety and Accessibility
Bathroom safety and accessibility is a very broad topic with a tremendous wealth of information.
But, no worries.
I am here to help simplify and organize the world of bathroom safety and accessibility for you.
Bear with us as we slowly and methodically plow through the different areas in a bathroom, potential obstacles/safety concerns, practical solutions, assistive devices, general tips, and creative ideas to make your bathroom as safe and accessible to suit your needs.
Topics to Cover
The following list provides the topics we will cover. Click on the topic to automatically link to the related post on that topic and get the detailed info you are looking for.
Each of the topics deserves its own discussion in order to provide you with comprehensive and thorough information.
Off the cuff though, we will discuss some basic things over here just to give you a general perspective and get you started.
Introduction to Bathrooms
Similar to how we started our discussion on Home Entrance Safety and Accessibility, we will begin our bathroom discussion by imagining we are walking into and viewing a bathroom through the lens of someone with physical limitations.
Naturally, the only way to enter the room would be the doorway.
What issues can the doorway present?
The doorway should be wide enough to allow for a potential wheelchair user or someone with a mobility assistive device (i.e. walker) to enter with ease.
The ADA recommendation for doorway width is a minimum of 32″ wide (when opened 90 degrees).
There should be a minimal threshold by the doorway, if any at all, so that there are as few potential obstacles as possible for someone with a mobility device.
Door handles should be easy to manipulate and require as little dexterity and coordination as possible. The most common types of door handles which are recommended are the lever handles which even a fisted hand can manipulate.
What can be done if the doorway is not wide enough, if there is a threshold, or if there is a difficult handle to manipulate?
Now, this would require a whole discussion on to itself.
In order to comprehensively provide you with practical tips and creative solutions, we have set aside a unique post for doorways which just don’t seem cut it for your needs. The post on Doorways is actually an excellent resource for any doorway in the home which seems to be too difficult to access.
Let’s get back to bathrooms though.
Space and Size
Once you get into the bathroom, one of the primary obstacles can be space. In order to maneuver around a bathroom with any form of assistive device, you need adequate turn space.
We will discuss space recommendations along with each area of the bathroom as we go into depth into each area individually.
We mention this here in the intro to give you the heads up to look out for it so that you can plan or modify your space to suit your current or potential future needs.
That’s pretty much it for a general intro to the Basics of Bathroom Safety and Accessibility.
Do yourself a favor and take a look at our other posts on the specific areas in a bathroom with common obstacles as well as practical and creative solutions so that you can make sure your home is truly safe, comfortable and accessible for you and your loved ones.
Here is a link to our category on Bathrooms with all of our related posts.
The Aging in Place website has a general page on bathroom modifications which may be helpful. We discuss all that is mentioned there in a lot more detail over the course of all of our discussions on bathrooms, but feel free to check it out as another resource.
As always, contact us with any comments or questions!
We’ll keep you POSTED!
To safe and happy homes,
Golda, a licensed Occupational Therapist and Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS professional) was inspired to specialize in an area which she felt would increase her clients’ quality of life beyond typical therapy treatment sessions. Golda embraces the idea of increasing clients’ abilities to reside in their homes barrier-free as providing a level of quality of life which cannot be matched. Follow along with Golda on her journey of creating a comprehensive resource center for home accessibility modifications here at adapttostay.com.