We all know the pain of our friends or relatives who are wheelchair users. How they are unable to perform very basic and most important task of their daily life because of being in a wheelchair. You may help them at difficult times but it is not possible that someone will always be with them no matter what. And in today’s generation children start living away from parents after marriage and not together. This then becomes a major issue for parents living alone with disabilities.
Using bathroom is one of the toughest tasks of their daily life and is really very dangerous when it comes to the probability of hazards. Most people face problems while using the bathroom. But if you give attention while making the bathroom and consider some specific ideas, there would be much fewer chances of facing major issues.
You might be thinking how this point can affect the person in using the bathroom more efficiently, but it does. The bathroom should be 30” x 48” to move the wheelchair in the bathroom. There should be enough space for that, doors of the bathroom should be wide enough to enter with the wheelchair i.e. 34”. The door should open outside the bathroom instead of inside so that the door doesn’t require extra space in the bathroom, all the accessories like towel hanger, toothbrush holder, and the paper dispenser should be placed lower to reach by sitting in wheelchair itself.
These are some of the small criteria’s under dimensions that can make a big difference and should be kept in mind while the bathroom is being made.
- Showers and tubs
Handy showers are the important part for a wheelchair user to bath in. You don’t need to move for bathing and can adjust the shower according to your efficiency. Another option for the shower is seated shower which is adjusting. The seat can be removed for those who don’t use a wheelchair and don’t need it. Walk-in tubs are another thing which is very efficient for handicapped people. It’s very easy to use and you don’t need to climb in.
- Sink and vanity accessibility
Sink and vanity is a very minor but important part to consider while designing your bathroom. There needs to be much space for a wheelchair to adjust underneath the sink where your wheelchair can fit comfortably. So the height of the sink should be maintained properly.
Installing lower and extra-long mirror can be of great use for disabled and able people both because the lower mirror is useful for people in a wheelchair who cannot see in the heightened mirror. And also mirror should be tilted little front side to get your whole image properly.
- Toilet accessibility
Here comes the dangerous part! People are usually scared of using the toilet while using a wheelchair as you need to shift from wheelchair to toilet seat. If you got misbalance even for a while, there are chances of falling.
Some guidelines are to be considered for efficient use of a toilet. Firstly height of the toilet should be according to the height of the wheelchair so that it is easy to shift from wheelchair to toilet seat and vice versa, the paper dispenser should be nearby toilet seat, handrails all over the bathroom is an important part should not be forgotten while considering other things.
Without lighting, there are chances of falling or slipping from a wheelchair. So lighting should also be treated as a safety issue and must not be ignored. Lighting should always be lower in height so that one can reach to its switchboard easily while sitting on the wheelchair only and lighting should be located outside the toilet wall so one can enter the toilet after switching on the lights.
One does not have to assume the location of the switchboard in dark. And lights should be made in such a way that one does not has to push much for switching on or off the lights.
- General accessibility and safety
There are several other issues to be considered for safety while making a bathroom. One of them is that there should not be any loose bath mat because it increases the chances of misbalancing the wheelchair; instead slip resistant mat should be used. Consider having handrails for support, space should be enough for two people if any attendant is allowed for personal care and service.
We have covered all the basic possible ideas above, which should be considered to ensure safety for a handicapped person. Hazards can be minimized to a very high extent by including these points. So people do consider all these points, be safe and be healthy!