Bathrooms can be a tricky space to navigate for someone who has limited mobility . Slippery floors, low toilets, and step-in tubs and showers are dangerous and frustrating obstacles that can complicate even the simplest tasks. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. With a wide variety of bathroom accessibility products on the market, it’s easy to turn any bathroom into a more usable space for everyone in your home. The Discount Ramps mobility product experts have put together a list of some of the most useful bathroom accessibility products.
Grab bars should be installed in bathtubs, shower stalls, and adjacent to toilet seats for assistance in getting in and out of tricky areas. These bars can be found in many different colors, configurations, and styles to blend in with your existing home décor. Some bars install with suction cups, while others can be permanently mounted. For permanently mounted bars, bathroom walls will need to be reinforced with a wood stud or other solid surface (also called “blocking”). For some helpful guidelines on installing grab bars, refer to chapter 6 of the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, which can be found at https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/2010ADAStandards/2010ADAStandards_prt.pdf.
Ideally, showers will have a no-step entry to prevent trips and falls, but this isn’t always an option. Shower seats come in a variety of models that not only help with getting in and out of the shower, but also provide a comfortable place to sit while bathing. There are multiple seat options available, including ones that can suction to the shower floor, be permanently attached to the wall, or reach across the tub edges and be used as a bench. There are also transfer chairs, which are designed with sliding seats to make getting in and out of the bath or shower even easier.
Handheld or Adjustable Shower Head
Handheld shower heads hook up to traditional shower heads and make it easier to bathe while seated. A switch powered showerhead makes it incredibly easy to turn the water on and off, for easy access into your shower before the water starts running, reducing the risk of slips and falls. These shower heads allow anyone who has trouble bending and moving certain ways to still get water where they need it, and also makes it easier for caregivers to assist in bathing. Consider installing a wall mount shower arm bracket as well; this way the shower head can be set down while still in use, but without soaking the rest of the bathroom.
Rugs and Mats
To reduce slipping when getting in and out of the tub or shower, make sure to add a bath mat inside the tub as well as rubber backed bath mats outside of the tub. Many mats for inside tubs secure with heavy duty suction cups to keep the mat from moving around. If you’re still concerned about bath mats outside of the shower slipping on the floor, secure them with a rubber rug pad or double sided rug tape.
Toilet Seat Riser
Seat risers make it easier to get on and off of toilets, by adding additional height to toilets. Many risers come with armrests, some removable, that can be of further assistance when sitting or standing. Some models of toilet risers attach to the seat with hardware, while others are less permanent and easier to remove. When purchasing a toilet seat riser, make sure it will fit your particular brand and style of toilet.
Once you’ve installed these helpful products, your bathroom will be more user-friendly for your whole family. Browse Discount Ramps for additional bathroom accessibility and mobility products, and read our Essential Home Safety Modifications guide for steps to take to make in other rooms of your home more accessible.