Adapting 4 Aspects of Your Bathroom for a Wheelchair

25 June 2020
 Categories: , Blog

You can make certain adjustments to accommodate a wheelchair user, and this goes beyond simply being able to easily get the wheelchair and its occupant in and out of the door. Perhaps you will soon start using a wheelchair, or perhaps you will be sharing your home with a family member who requires one. Ease of use of the bathroom is something that able-bodied people might take for granted, and this room should remain accessible and functional for someone who is in a wheelchair.

1. The Sink

The bathroom sink will need to be lowered to accommodate the wheelchair. The space under the sink cannot be blocked by base cabinets, as the wheelchair will need to slot into this space so that the user can position themselves directly over the sink. Depending on the layout of the bathroom and the size of the sink, you could conceivably install narrow, wall-mounted shelves under the sink, but only if these do not impede access for the wheelchair.

2. Storage and Cabinets

All bathroom cabinets should be wall-mounted at a height that a person sitting upright in a wheelchair can open, and have full access to its contents. Consider a raised handle instead of a knob, so that there is more surface area to grab while opening the cabinet doors. Lighting can be installed inside the cabinet, triggered when the door is open. This is advisable when the background lighting in the bathroom might be insufficient. Any drawers should have ball bearing slides (again with a raised handle) so that the drawer can be opened and closed with a minimal amount of physical effort.

The Shower

The shower can be curbless, or a walk-in shower with a hinged, watertight door. A shower seat will need to be purchased (which can be removed when not in use), and an appropriate number of handrails and grips can be bolted into the wall to allow the wheelchair user to maneuver themselves in and out of the shower.

The Toilet

The toilet bowl should be lowered to be commensurate with the approximate height of the wheelchair. This makes it easier for someone to transfer from one seat to the other. There will need to be sturdy handrails on either side of the toilet to make this transfer possible. These can be adjustable and can pivot upwards, allowing them to be vertical against the wall at the rear of the toilet when they're not in use.

Some people might suggest that the kitchen is the most important room in the house. But in terms of urgency, you are more likely to find yourself in immediate need of your bathroom, which is why it will need to be adapted for the wheelchair user in your household. For more assistance, contact local remodelling contractors.