Often, when you think of home modifications to improve accessibility, ramps, wider doors, and other ways to remove obstacles come to mind. While these are crucial for enhanced safety and independent living, plumbing features to assist with strength and mobility struggles are critical.
The team at AccessAble Home Modifications knows how to assess your strengths and the areas where you would benefit from a few adjustments. We work with Occupational Therapists to ensure that the changes function in your situation.
Accessible Height/Taller Toilets
Many people do not think about the difficulty of using a standard toilet for those with strength or mobility issues. However, many elderly or mobility-challenged people find the standard 400 mm toilet height too low. Often, they may not have the physical strength and balance needed to push up to a standing position after using the toilet.
AccessAble Homes offer many options to make sitting on and getting up from your toilet safer and less frightening:
- Higher Toilet Seat – Accessible taller toilets can make a significant difference for those who have difficulty lowering and raising themselves. The height is based on that of a dining room chair. Raised toilets with heights around 500-508 mm are usually ideal.
- Toilet Riser – This is a platform designed to hold a toilet on top. They are typically about 89 mm tall.
- Raised Toilet Seat with Handles – The 127mm riser attaches securely to the toilet bowl and has padded handles on either side for added stability.
- Raised Toilet Seat – These are available for elongated or regular bowls and attach with two locks. The risers are usually around 127 mm tall.
- Bidet Seats – Many people who struggle with toileting have particular difficulty wiping. Often, the person will struggle, which puts them at risk of falling. By adding a bidet, a simple press of a button initiates cleaning. The bidet seat also improves hygiene as it is a more efficient way to clean thoroughly after using the bathroom. The bidet seat can also reduce the risk of slips and falls by reducing the need to shower to be clean after toileting.
Hose and Rail Shower System
While shower seats and grab bars are excellent ways to improve safety in the bath. They may not be enough to ensure safety. Often, mobility-challenged and those with difficulties balancing experience struggles when trying to shower using a traditional stationary setup.
Showering becomes much more manageable by adding an adjustable showerhead on a hose along with a sturdy grab bar. Typically, the height of the showerhead can be raised and lowered. Additionally, the hose allows free movement for rinsing without straining or moving in an unsafe way in the shower.
The grab rail attaches to the shower wall and provides extra space for gripping to maintain balance. The shower hose is essential for cleaning one’s feet safely.
In addition to allowing a safer independent shower experience, home health workers will find it much easier to assist with showers, especially when shampooing and rinsing a client’s hair.
Quarter Turn and Lever Taps
The strength needed to turn on the water in the shower or sink is something few people think about until they lose the ability to turn on the water easily.
As a result of aging, arthritis, weak grip, or other strength issues, many people find it difficult to impossible to turn on the water. Quarter turn and lever taps make this task easy.
Regular taps need at least two, and a half turns to turn on at full pressure. While this may not sound like much, it can be impossible for a person who cannot maintain a firm grip. A quarter-turn tap needs only a 90-degree angle turn to open.
Lever taps are another excellent option to make turning on the water easy again. Rather than turning, the lever is pressed or pushed to turn the water on and off.
Thermostatic Faucets and Shower Valves
Adjusting water temperature is not always easy. Temperatures can also fluctuate, causing unpleasant chills or much hot water. If you have any issues or need repairs for your hot water system, the experts at Emergency Plumbing Perth can also help you with your needs. Painful scalding is easier to prevent with the addition of a thermostatic water system. The water temperature is consistent throughout the entire shower or while washing hands.
Accessible Vanities and Sink Basins
Vanities sinks, and mirrors can be difficult to use for many mobility-challenged individuals. Installing accessible vanities and basins, as well as adjusting mirror height, will make a world of difference to anyone who struggles with mobility.
While not every person will need a vanity or basin at wheelchair height, many attractive options are available. Open vanities are a good option for many people as well.
Other considerations include:
- Surfaces that are easy to clean and maintain
- For optimal wheelchair accessibility, the vanity should be 685mm high, 762mm wide, and 508mm deep
- Choose levers instead of knobs
- Consider a full-length mirror mounted on the wall
- Position lights for optimal use of the vanity
If you or a loved one experiences difficulty with bathroom fixtures due to strength or mobility issues, please know that you do not need to fight a battle to perform simple activities of daily living. Contact the home modification experts at AccessAble Home Modifications. The team has helped hundreds of people with a variety of mobility challenges experience safer independence through home modifications. Our use of universal design ensures your home will look fantastic and will serve the needs of people at all levels of mobility. And our experienced team will listen to what you want and make sure we meet your needs.