An accessible home bathroom is something you may not need to think about right away. However, the bathroom is one place where many accidents happen whether you have mobility issues or not. When you have balance problems, it is especially dangerous. There are many ways to make your bathroom safer. The following is a list of modifications you can make or ways you can construct your bathroom if you are building a new home.
As you can see, the bathroom can be built or modified to make life easier for you if you have mobility problems with your MS. If you don't need a wheelchair now, you may still want to think about adding some of these things if you plan on living in your home for an extended period of time. By thinking of all the activities you need to do while in the bathroom, you can anticipate what may or, hopefully, you can prevent from happening.
If you are building a new home or condo, then it's so much easier to add things in the design stage rather than having to modify it later. Of course you won't add a lift when you don't need one. But most things like grab bars, a handheld shower head, or a shower chair are easily added and usable by all. And, as I said earlier, you may not need everything right now anyway. Knowing they are available to you, can make all the difference when and if that time does come around.
Even vision problems can be solved by making sure there is adequate lighting installed. We found that Cir needed extra grab bars installed when we moved into our new apartment. It was ADA compliant, however, we purchased and were able to get installed, a few extra bars where he needed them most.
The more you can anticipate your needs, the easier it will be down the line. A roll in or walk in shower is easier to do while building, than to have to tear things out to install one later. Do your research. Look at several homes, condos, or apartments, before making your decisions about what you might need or want. There are so many choices out there now, you are sure to get exactly what you feel you'll need.
Even when you're fixing up your home to be more accommodating, there are many possibilities, some which are pretty easy fixes. Changing faucets, door handles, and light switches, are inexpensive ways to begin creating an accessible home bathroom. Adding a shower chair may be covered by your insurance.
Widening doors or putting in a Hoyer lift will take more effort, time, and money. If you can't move, get funding, or help, try to make things as safe as possible to avoid falls or accidents in the bathroom. If you can't safely do things by yourself, get help from family members or possibly a home health aide may be available to assist you through your insurance.
Here are a few videos to show what's available when it comes to accessible bathrooms. Whether you are adapting a traditional bathroom, like the first video, or building from scratch; there's always a way to make your bathroom more accessible and safe.
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Cir & Akrista
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