Bathrooms are a basic amenity in the household but for a wheelchair user, they are usually considered the most difficult and dangerous to use. But this doesn’t have to be the case.
Making your bathroom accessible can contribute to living an independent life and at Karma Mobility, we’re committed to making that happen.
Install Grab Rails
One of the quickest ways to make your bathroom safe and accessible is to add grab rails to the walls.
Grab rails give you the support you need to manoeuvre yourself from your wheelchair onto a toilet or shower chair, and are the easiest and most affordable option for making your bathroom accessible.
In most cases, grab rails should be positioned where it is most comfortable for you around the bath, shower or toilet and can differ depending on whether you use a manual lightweight wheelchair or a powered wheelchair.
Invest in a Roll-In Shower
Roll-in showers are open showers that are level with the floor and are designed for wheelchair users to roll directly in using a shower wheelchair. If your budget allows, this is one of the easiest and safest shower options for wheelchair users as well as anybody with limited mobility in their legs.
The shower should be large enough for you to move easily within the stall, and it is still recommended that grab rails be installed on the shower walls in case of any slips.
If you have limited mobility in your hands then fiddly shower controls might not be an option. Instead, look for showers that have single valve knobs and buttons to make adjusting the temperature easier, and make sure the controls are mounted at a height that is easy for you to reach.
When it comes to making a bath accessible, there are a few options that you can choose to invest in.
The first is replacing your bath completely with a new model that is suited to your mobility needs. You could choose a bath with a lower bowl that has a reinforced ledge or a walk-in bath for easier access.
More affordable options for making your bath accessible include installing handles on either side of the bath with a grab rail attached to the wall, using foldaway shower seats and placing a slip mat on the floor for stability. It is also possible to buy a platform or stool that sits next to the bath to help you slide in.
Implementing any of these will allow you to live independently in your home.
Make Space Around Your Toilet
Ideally, there should be 47 inches of space around your toilet to be able to manoeuvre easily within your bathroom, as well as position yourself in a safe position before transferring from your wheelchair to the toilet.
If your toilet is next to a wall or you have a small bathroom, then it is recommended that you attach a grab handle to the wall because this will be the easiest piece of equipment for getting yourself on and off the toilet. If your toilet is far from a wall, then a folding grab rail might be a better option for you.
Lower Your Sink
Having a sink positioned on a lower counter with plenty of space beneath it to position your wheelchair can make using the bathroom far simpler. It can also prevent strains and injuries from occurring as you won’t need to reach and bend when washing your hands.
If you have limited mobility in your hands, then you might want to consider replacing your tap with a touchless or single valve alternative and swap bottles with fiddly plastic lids for stylish soap dispensers.
Bespoke Bathroom Designs
Making your bathroom accessible doesn’t have to take away the style.
How to Fund an Accessible Bathroom
At Karma Mobility, we understand that adapting a bathroom for wheelchair suitability can be costly, and you may have to work around a tight budget.
Luckily, there are charities and organisations that will provide financial assistance to wheelchair users who need to make adjustments to their home.
These include Disabled Facilities Grants, a grant issued by the government that aims to provide disabled people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland with funds to make their home more accessible for their needs.
You could access:
- £30,000 if you live in England
- £36,000 if you live in Wales
- £25,000 if you live in Northern Ireland
For more advice and guidance on how to improve wheelchair access in the home, take a look at our Wheelchair Access Guide, or follow the Karma community on social media.