If mobility has become an issue, there are numerous ways to both update your bathroom and accommodate your needs. Restricted mobility shouldn’t necessarily result in moving home to a place that has a more accessible bathroom. In fact, there are a range of changes you can make to the bathroom to aid mobility.
Here are some things you might wish to consider if you’re installing a bathroom suite to aid those with restricted mobility.
If you only need to make one change to help with restricted mobility, then attaching grab bars and rails around the room can prove to be a significant help. Grab rails are a relatively quick yet inexpensive change, especially as these can be fixed to the wall to help with the use of existing fittings.
Grab rails can be fitted near the toilet and elsewhere in the room to help movement around the room, as well as providing assistance using the toilet and getting in and out of the bath or shower.
Easy access baths
Lifting your leg over the side of the bath can be particularly challenging for those with restricted mobility. There are a range of baths available to aid access to the tub or shower, if it’s a bath shower. However, a relaxing soak in the tub should still be a viable option for those with restricted mobility. The addition of grab rails around the bath area can provide assistance, but installing a shallow bath will also be useful.
A shallow bath is generally easier to access owing to the sides being significantly lower than the standard tub. Additionally, the tub is much shallower in terms of depth and therefore uses much less water to fill.
While many mobility baths comprise of a standard tub with a door in the centre for easy access, this will require sitting in an empty bath to begin with and waiting for the water to fill with water. Similarly, you’ll need to wait for the water to drain away before you can open the door to get out again, which can make for a much less pleasant bathing experience.
A shallower bath removes this aspect, enabling you to step straight into your relaxing bath with ease.
Tall pedestal basins and comfort toilets
Standard basins can be challenging to use, largely because of their low height. A raised basin provides easier access for elderly people, those with back problems as well as those with restricted mobility.
The tall pedestal raises the basin to a more accessible height than standard pedestal basins, to prevent bending down to reach the sink.
Similarly, a comfort toilet is a useful addition to an easy access bathroom. Comfort toilets look just like a standard toilet, but comprise specific features to aid those with restricted mobility. This includes a raised toilet pan to reduce the strain of bending in order to sit down.
Taps, brassware and handles
While providing access to fittings and sanitary ware is crucial to creating an accessible space, even seemingly minor changes can make a difference. Taps and brassware can also provide assistance to those with restricted mobility. Both modern designs and traditional crosshead fitting taps can be fiddly and problematic to deal with.
Mixer taps by design are generally easier to use, particularly where an extended lever has been incorporated into the design. The longer lever will make turning the tap on or off and turning for temperature easier to use than more ornate designs.
Additionally, wall-mounted thermostatic shower valves are an important yet necessary feature to include in making your bathroom more accessible. A thermostatic valve can be more straightforward to use, but the thermostat itself can also prove to be useful to keep a consistent, comfortable water temperature. This is also important to include to safeguard against scalding from hot water temperatures.
Discover our ‘Easy Bathing Bathrooms’ range, with products aimed at making life easier for people with restricted mobility.