Attitudes of today are rightly a far cry from the horror stories we hear about the Spartan women of history discarding less-than-physically perfect children. During those times the thought of even inventing disabled grab rails or even aiding disabled people would not have crossed peoples minds.
Fortunately, we have evolved since then, and so have the ideas behind items such as handicap accessible showers. Most of us enjoy a high level of independence within our daily lives; but according to the 2011 Office for National Statistics (UK) Opinions Survey ‘Over a quarter of disabled people say that they do not frequently have choice and control over their daily lives’.
With such inventions as the wet room and the easy access bath it is now possible to give those with disabilities or even elderly relatives a bathroom they can use on their own and with a much reduced level of risk. There are three main points to consider when planning a disabled access bathroom:
- Easy access shower/bath
- Easy access toilet
- Mobility within the bathroom
One of the easiest methods to create a more accessible shower is to build a wet room. The premise being that instead of a shower cubicle or shower tray the entire floor of the room is a drainage system. This then allows a wheelchair bound person to remain seated while getting in and out of the shower. If they do not wish to get their wheelchair wet they can have a seated shower installed with handrails to help them in and out of their chair.
There are many different versions of disabled toilet available. The seats can be installed at various heights with differing back support
depending on the type of disability. This is then accompanied by guard rails surrounding the toilet, allowing the user to get on and off without assistance.
Lastly, is there mobility within the bathroom? The main points to think about are an even floor, space to manoeuvre a wheelchair and a non slip
bathroom floor covering. The idea being that the room can be used with little or no assistance.
Other factors to consider for a handicapped bathroom are:
- Install an extractor fan so that the bathroom does not fill
up with steam.
- Fix the water temperature so that a person cannot be
- Install a disabled toilet alarm so that a person can call
for assistance if needed
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