When someone becomes handicapped, their greatest desire is usually to be able to remain in their own home. This can be difficult, however, because most homes are not readily built for handicapped use. Renovations will often be needed. This is particularly true in the bathroom, which is one of the most used rooms in the home.
The type of renovations needed in the bathroom will largely depend upon whether a handicapped person is at least partially mobile, and what type of handicap he is dealing with. Although there are many types of disabilities, there are some common renovations that can be done.
Renovations For the Partially Mobile
As people age, their sense of balance tends to become affected. They can many times remain mobile into very old age, but they need help to maintain proper balance and avoid falling. Falling is one of the biggest reasons for broken limbs in the elderly. Others have problems with limb diseases and spinal problems, which make movement slow or painful.
One of the best and easiest renovations to make for someone who is handicapped but mobile is to install handle bars in the bathroom. This gives more stability to the limbs, and aids in mobility. Handle bars can extend the length of the wall, or be placed in specific smaller locations where they are needed. They should be placed at a height where they can be easily grabbed by the handicapped person when needed.
Taking baths is difficult for people with limb injuries, because they find it hard to get in and out of the bathtub. One option to consider is a walk-in bathtub, which contains an entry door for easier access, and a seat. The other option, which may be an easier renovation, is to place a removable seat in the shower, and place handle bars on the shower wall. Care should be taken to place a rubber mat on the floor in either case, to avoid slipping.
Renovations For People In Wheelchairs
People in wheelchairs generally need assistance to stand, or they are completely unable to stand. Usually, when a wheelchair is needed, more extensive renovations will have to be done to the bathroom to accommodate it. One of the biggest renovations needed is to make sure that there is enough clearance for the wheelchair. This may require having to widen the entry door leading to the bathroom. More room is needed in the bathroom as a whole, because the handicapped person usually requires the help of an assistant. People in wheelchairs can also benefit from handlebars which are thoughtfully placed.
Consideration also must be given to the height of the toilet and sink. People with spinal disabilities find it easier to sit on a raised toilet, and personal assistants find it easier to transport a handicapped person onto a raised seat, either onto a toilet, or onto a seat in a walk-in shower. Removable shower heads aid in bathing.
For renovations to be most effective, they should always be made with thought to the specific individual and his disability.
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