The barrier free bathroom
How do I set up a bathroom for the disabled?
A bathroom for disabled people is a space where every equipment must be carefully planned. People who have limited mobility or are undergoing rehabilitation must pay special attention to their personal hygiene, especially with regard to prolonged sitting or lying down and the resulting possibility of developing wounds, skin macerations or bedsores. Unfortunately, this is not always possible due to mobility restrictions. Support in such situations is provided by suitable aids (aids and accessories), which effectively increase the comfort of using the bathroom and toilet for the confined.
Today, there are numerous aids on the market that support patients or seniors in their daily bathroom activities, either alone or with the help of a caregiver or rehabilitation therapist. These include a range of bathing accessories such as seats and handrails, aids that facilitate the use of the toilet, and special wheelchairs that are suitable for toileting. With these items, the bathroom can be almost completely adapted to the needs of the disabled person. In addition, a disabled bathroom can be arranged in such a way that it does not interfere with the needs of other people using the same space. This means that the disabled toilet does not have to be located in a separate room, as items that are not needed can simply be folded away or hidden.
Disabled bathroom - what aids do I need?
Bathing is one of the most difficult activities for people with disabilities, whether in the shower or in the bathtub. A disabled bathroom should therefore be designed to make washing easier for both the disabled person themselves and, if necessary, the caregivers of the sick and/or elderly person. What accessories should be included?
The basic equipment of a bathroom designed for the disabled should include grab bars. They are made in a variety of shapes and sizes, so there is a model to suit everyone. Grab bars in the bathroom are usually installed on the wall next to the bathtub or on the edge of the tub to make it easier to get in and out of the bathtub or shower stall. Handrails provide stable support, help maintain balance and protect against falls. Therefore, it is worth thinking about installing them not only when furnishing a bathroom for the disabled, but also in connection with the needs of the elderly. Grab bars for the bathroom are ergonomically designed and small enough not to disturb other users of the bath or shower, and some versions of this accessory even offer the possibility of tilting / folding. Handrails can withstand loads of up to 120 kilograms, making them suitable for people who suffer from obesity and are therefore not fully functional.
The second type of aids that support independent bathing of a person in need of assistance are bathing benches. A handicapped bathroom can be equipped with this type of assistive device regardless of whether it is a shower or a bathtub. For both forms of bathing, manufacturers have developed bath benches suitable for use in the bathtub, special stools and bath stools and seats attached directly to the wall suitable for use in the shower. Bath benches that are placed on the edge of the tub usually come in three types. The simplest of these is a cantilever bench with a handle that allows a person with limited mobility to perform hygiene tasks independently. The second type is height-adjustable, allowing the user to sit on the bench and simultaneously immerse himself in the water poured into the tub. The third type of bath bench is a seat with a backrest that provides additional support for the back. On the other hand, a handicapped bathroom with a shower can be equipped with a shower seat firmly attached to the wall or with shower stools and stools on which the patient can sit while bathing. Such stools are absolutely safe, as they are equipped with non-slip leg pads that reduce the risk of falling.
Toilet for disabled - how to facilitate the use of the toilet?
Another problem in a disabled bathroom and toilet can be the independent use of the toilet. When sitting down and getting up from the toilet, the joints of the legs are mainly involved: Hip, knee and ankle, so people with limited mobility can have great difficulty with this. A disabled toilet should therefore be suitably elevated so that the user does not have to strain their joints when using the toilet. To address this issue, special toilet seats have been developed for the toilet seat (with or without a flap, and with or without a handrail). Thanks to the non-slip components, they do not slip during use, and the height (available from 6 to 17 centimeters) makes it easier to stand up and sit down on the toilet. In addition, the toilet seats are not permanently attached to the toilet seat, so the seat can be removed at any time to make the accessible toilet usable for the rest of the household.
A handicap accessible toilet, designed with the patient's privacy in mind, is an extremely important aspect of recovery or rehabilitation, as the comfort level decreases significantly when using the toilet in the presence of a third person (caregiver). Toilet pads in disabled toilet are therefore an ideal solution for people who want to maintain their independence. For people who find it very difficult to sit down on the toilet and get up again, there are models with integrated handrails that further support the patient's independence when going to the toilet.
Shower and toilet wheelchair - who is it suitable for?
In addition to useful accessories (toilet attachments, lifters, handrails for the disabled), a disabled toilet can also be equipped with a shower and toilet wheelchair, which is essential for the care of people with severely or completely limited mobility.
A shower and toilet wheelchair can even be called a mobile toilet for people with disabilities. Each model has a special opening in the seat that allows you to go to the toilet without getting up from the wheelchair. However, under the seat there is a hygiene bucket - a container that serves as a kind of potty. The opening can be covered with a grille, which greatly increases discretion and hides the purpose of the wheelchair.
Shower and toilet wheelchairs are manufactured in different variants, where for all users (or attendants or caregivers of a sick person) can safely choose a model that meets his specific needs and preferences, as well as the physiognomy of the disabled person. The basic variant of such a shower and toilet wheelchair is a small trolley to facilitate the work of caregivers. It has swiveling armrests and footrests that facilitate getting up or lifting the patient from the seat and transport. This type of wheelchair is very maneuverable and therefore does not require much space to maneuver.
Another model is the shower and toilet wheelchair on large wheels, which differs from a conventional wheelchair by the additions that facilitate the use of the disabled toilet (sanitary bucket and mask). A person who is limited from the waist down can therefore use such a wheelchair independently, provided there is sufficient strength in the hands.
There is also a shower and toilet wheelchair with adjustable backrest and headrest (useful, for example, when washing hair), movable footrests and armrests (to make it easier to take the patient out and put them in), and a toilet opening, bucket and hood.
What else should be considered when furnishing a bathroom for the disabled?
It is not enough just to equip the bathroom with certain devices and accessories. In order to facilitate the use of disabled people in wheelchairs, design and construction issues must also be taken into account. Light switches, towel racks, mirrors, sinks, etc. should be placed sufficiently lower than the norm. All of this should be easily accessible - literally - from a seated position so that someone in a wheelchair is able to use it normally.
Thresholds at the entrance to the toilet or bathroom must also be adapted to the needs of wheelchair users - the wheels must not slip on the threshold, and the height (and shape) of the threshold must allow the wheelchair to pass over it with relative ease. For this purpose, it is possible to use, for example, threshold ramps made of rubber, which not only have a non-slip surface, but also a profile that makes any threshold crossing much smoother. Ramps of this type can be easily adapted to individual needs. Since they are made of rubber, they can be easily cut to any lengt