When you become wheelchair-dependent due to circumstances, your life suddenly changes a lot.
A lot has to be arranged and the simplest things require more attention. This also applies to showering and going to the toilet. It could well be that a special wheelchair is needed for this. A wheelchair accessible bathroom is therefore more of a necessity than a luxury, because in a standard bathroom you often lack space. What should you pay attention to when arranging the adaptations? We would like to give you a few pointers that you should not forget.
Your aids form the basis. Check with your occupational therapist which aids you need for your bathroom/toilet routine. Your aids have a major influence on the design of the bathroom. Think of a roll-over toilet, a roll-over shower, an accessible sink and last but not least the accessibility of your bathroom (barriers). Make sure that the space in combination with your aids and appliances go well together and adjust your bathroom accordingly. If you do this the other way round, you will have to make concessions to the design of your aids or, in the worst case, you will not be able to use the aids that help you to be as independent, comfortable and mobile as possible. That would be a shame, because you still have years to go in the new situation…
Sufficient space to move around in the bathroom without problems is a must. You can save a lot of space by installing a walk-in shower without walls, for example. 100 cm in diameter is often a minimum for a 360-degree turning radius. Again, the space needed depends on your tools. Installing a sliding door (if possible) can also save a lot of space.
Accessories at the right height
Don’t forget to place towel rings, soap holders, mirrors and light switches at an accessible height. These are things that can probably be changed later, but you’d rather get it right the first time.
Go through everything step by step
Making a wheelchair accessible bathroom takes a lot of time and thought. During your rehabilitation, you will probably have learned certain techniques with which you can manage. Ideally, you would like to adopt these techniques at home as much as possible. Is everything easy to reach? Where do you keep the products you need for laxatives? Do you do the transfer in the bathroom or in the bedroom? Go through your current ritual step by step so that you don’t forget anything.
Are you renovating your bathroom and haven’t been able to find the right aid? We are happy to think along with you for a suitable solution.