Mobility issues make bathroom use more difficult and less safe. Accidents and falls inside the bathroom are quite common among seniors, the disabled, and bariatric individuals. Sharp corners and hard surfaces make these falls quite dangerous, but there are specific measures you can take to make your bathrooms safer.
Adjust the Floor Plan
A standard bathroom build might not be convenient for individuals with mobility issues. Make sure the floor is leveled to the outside room as even a small step can cause serious accidents. Widen the doorway to accommodate wheelchair users, and make sure you have a connected wall on one side of the room to the toilet. Make sure your bathroom door opens outwards; this gives you more space inside the bathroom and makes sure the door doesn’t get in the way of the connected wall. Keep the path from the doorway to the toilet free from any obstructions, including rugs or mats that can catch into wheelchairs or slip from under you.
Add Supports and Handholds
Supports along the walls towards the toilet seat make trips to the bathroom more comfortable and safer. While you can forego the handholds on the walls if you’re using a wheelchair. Handholds near the toilet are still essential for safety and ease of use. Bending down to sit or transferring from one seat to another requires precise movements, balance, and strength. Lacking in one attribute will increase your chances of suffering an accident or fall and make your bathroom trips a lot more complicated. Supports and handholds make up for the lack of any (or all) of the three attributes, giving you sufficient purchase in using the toilet. Supports inside the bathroom — particularly near the bathroom — allow you to maintain your independence, especially on such a private matter.
Switch to a Walk-in Tub
Combining soapy water with mobility issues is a recipe for disaster. Using standard tubs is even more improbable as getting in, and out of one requires a lot of strength and coordination and entails a lot of risks. Slipping into or out of a tub is particularly dangerous as it could knock you unconscious and leave you drowning or bleeding on the bathroom floor. A safer option is using a walk-in bathtub. Walk-in bathtubs are primarily designed for senior-use, but they are ideal for anyone with mobility issues. You merely open the door, take a seat, and wait for the water to rise. You remain seated all the time, eliminating the risk of falling or slipping. Bariatric models that can accommodate 600 lbs. are also available, and you must get one if you require a sturdier tub. Walk-in tubs allow you to soak in a relaxed manner, letting you stay immersed for more extended periods and burn calories as you remain in the water.
Overall, bathroom safety should always be a priority. Investing in safety features for your bathroom will spare you from hospital bills and injuries. Stay independent and stay safe in your own home.