If your spouse has developed a medical condition that requires the use of a wheelchair, it may be challenging to use the bathroom in your home due to lack of space or the floor plan of the room. You may need to have the bathroom redesigned, or even have a new bathroom put in a garage or spare bedroom so it can accommodate your spouse's special needs. Here are some ideas for designing your new bathroom for wheelchair use:
Install A Curbless Shower
You'll need to work with a professional to come up with the exact bathroom design, but you can decide the features you want in advance. If this is the only bathroom in your home, then you'll have to decide if you want to get rid of the tub or save it for your family's use. You may need to remove the tub and have a curbless shower installed in its place. With this type of shower, your spouse can wheel into the shower and transfer to a shower chair and continue with their normal daily hygiene.
Widen The Door
If your home is old, it may have narrow doorways. Your spouse's wheelchair may not even fit through the doorway now. If so, one essential change you'll want to make is to widen the doorway. Then, your spouse can roll up to the sink or toilet without having the bother of transferring chairs to get inside the room.
Lower The Sink And Move The Toilet
A bathroom designer will know how to install the sink and toilet according to ADA guidelines when it comes to the height. A sink needs to be lower than usual so it can be used while sitting in a wheelchair. In addition, you might want a sink with a table-type vanity so your spouse can roll the wheelchair close to the sink and have plenty of room to spread out grooming supplies, and be able to reach electrical plugs if needed.
The toilet may need to be elevated so it's easier to transfer from the toilet back into the wheelchair. The toilet and wheelchair need to be about the same height or it may not be possible to slide back and forth between them easily. Since many toilets are in tight places between walls or a wall and a sink, the toilet placement might need to change as well so your spouse has room to move the wheelchair around and position it beside the toilet.
You'll probably need to make several major changes to the bathroom, but it can still be attractive and luxurious. If you're going to invest in upgrades, then you probably want the room to look its best. Talk to your designer about the right type of flooring, lighting, and other features that will give the room a warm and comfortable ambience.