Elements of a Barrier-Free Bathroom

The bathroom has come to be viewed as a retreat – a place for relaxation, solitude and renewal in the home. However, for the elderly and infirm, it can present formidable barriers to use and may compromise safety when physical abilities begin to fail. However, designing or updating a bathroom to be handicap accessible and able to accommodate the changing needs of an individual can incorporate tranquility into a once again functional space.

For an able-bodied person, a standard tub or shower poses no challenge. However, consider changes in mobility and it becomes a different story. Raising the height of fixtures like the sink and toilet, in addition to allowing for increased clearance for walkers or wheelchairs, are simple ways to increase accessibility in this room. On the other hand, the bath and shower are the trickiest for ensuring safety and accessibility.

bathroomsWhen renovating or designing a bathroom to accommodate the elderly or handicapped, many will choose to add shower or bath options that are both user-friendly and beautiful. Increasingly, bathroom remodels incorporate barrier-free showers taking into account possible future needs and the market has responded with some very aesthetically pleasing options.

If a remodel is your choice, a zero-entry or curbless shower offers complete accessibility with no threshold to step over can be designed to occupy any amount of space desired – from that of a standard shower to much larger. Installing a hand-held showerhead on a slide bar is a great way to increase usability, allowing the user to shower while seated. Of course, a shower bar is an easy to install and a popular standard for safety. Walk-in bathtubs are also an option and can be installed in the same footprint as an existing standard-sized tub.

Accessible bathrooms are critical for creating an accessible home as loved ones age. David York Agency is well aware of possible safety hazards and their home health aides know how to navigate their clients in the bathroom safely. David York Agency has done a lot of research about elder proofing homes and has compiled a concise, handy chart for caregivers to use which is available on the caregiver resources page of their website.

David York Agency’s qualified and well-trained healthcare professionals provide additional peace of mind, offering the services of Certified Home Health Aides (HHA), Certified Personal Health Care Aides (PCA), Registered Nurses (RN), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), full- or part-time, live-in or -out, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Licensed by the New York State Department of Health, we believe your loved one deserves the best care. Call for a free consultation today, at 718-376-7755.