Bathroom accessibility is an important consideration for anyone with reduced mobility.
Forty eight percent of disabled adults have restricted mobility, and a standard bathroom won’t meet every individual’s needs, but there are ways of adapting your bathroom to ensure that it is a safe environment where you feel comfortable, confident and in control.
Whether you’re adapting a personal bathroom or a shared family space, with the addition of certain disabled bathing solutions such as walk-in showers and easy-access storage, you can remove the barriers to bathing and create an accessible bathroom that meets all your needs. We’ve compiled this list of features that will help to transform your bathroom into a safe and accessible sanctuary:
Walk-in shower or wet room
A walk-in shower or a wet room is a particularly good idea for wheelchair users and those with restricted mobility as they ensure that there are minimal obstacles to contend with. With the absence of doors and with level flooring throughout, wet rooms and walk-in showers are more accessible and can make bathroom routines that much more manageable. They’re also extremely modern and popular, so by installing a wet room or walk-in shower, you’ll also be the proud owner of a bathroom that exudes luxury and style. As the bathroom floor will get very wet, slip-resistant flooring is a must, so be sure to factor that into your disabled bathroom plan.
For many of us, nothing beats a long, relaxing soak in the bath, and this can often still be achievable for individuals with reduced mobility. A wide-opening, watertight door eliminates the need to lift your legs over the full height of the tub, making getting in and out of the bath safer and simpler, especially when combined with some of the safety features we’ve outlined below, such as grab rails and anti-slip surfaces.
Subtle safety features
For a disabled bathroom that brings extra peace of mind, introduce subtle safety features. Grab rails can be installed around your bathroom to assist with showering, bathing and using the loo, providing extra assistance and reassurance as you go about your bathroom routine. Grab rails come in a variety of shapes and sizes to work with your bathroom and your needs. If showering is the preference, consider a shower seat for support, and install an anti-slip shower tray to reduce the risk of potential falls. For those that prefer baths or find them easier to manage, look for a specific anti-slip bath, or install anti-slip mats or stickers that are designed to make bathing safer.
In a standard bathroom, bathroom storage can be challenging to access, especially for wheelchair users, with cupboards and shelves fixed high on the wall. But high-level cupboards can be replaced with easy-access alternatives. When designing a disabled bathroom, think about fixing wall-mounted cabinets at an appropriate height so that all the essentials are within reach, taking the time to measure and plan around individual needs.
Comfort height toilets
Comfort height toilets are raised higher than a standard toilet, making it easier for people with certain forms of restricted mobility to sit down and stand back up. Install a grab rail next to the loo for extra assistance.
Top of the range fixtures and fittings
An easy-to-use shower is a must-have in an accessible bathroom, and many modern showers are designed with accessibility and safety in mind. Thermostatic showers are a particularly good idea as they prevent any sudden changes in temperature.
The Mira Advance is a thermostatic shower that was developed in collaboration with the Royal National Institute for the Blind to develop a truly user-friendly shower. It is visually optimised, with high-contrast graphics to highlight critical touchpoints, and audio enhanced, with clear, audible beeps that indicate when the shower is being turned on and off and when the desired temperature has been reached. It also features large, user-friendly controls and light-touch buttons that are easy to use even for those with limited dexterity.
Practicality and safety will be at the forefront of your mind when designing an accessible bathroom, but that shouldn’t mean you have to compromise on style. Explore our full Independent Living Range for disabled bathing solutions that combine form and functionality, and remember that you can still decorate and accessorise your bathroom in a way that reflects your style and personality.