According to a report by the Association des Paralysés de France, nearly half of the French population in 2030 will be elderly and disabled. This is why specialists in accessibility are working to find several effective solutions for moving around in all the rooms of a house, including the bathroom.
Bathrooms adapted to the needs of the disabled
Faced with the demand, bathroom designers have decided to adapt their products to the needs of seniors and people with disabilities by offering them specific products as well as simple advice to apply to make this room safe in order to prevent the risk of accidents:
To enjoy moments of well-being and relaxation inside your bathroom, you must first think about a safe choice for the floor, for example the anti-slip and waterproof plastic floor. Then, you should install grab bars and handles to facilitate mobility or getting out of the chair. Grooved bars and handles are preferred because they are less slippery than stainless steel ones, and don’t forget to take care of the fixing and screwing.
For the visually impaired, it is best to choose furniture with sliding doors. The doors should not open inwards more than 90 cm. As for the faucets, make sure they are thermostatic and adjustable, to avoid the risk of burns. It is also necessary to foresee a sufficiently clear space that could accommodate an attendant or two.
The choice of the shower, bathtub, toiletry
Showers may be the easiest and most practical equipment for disabled people, as they do not have a threshold to cross. But if you choose a bathtub for the elderly, just like the shower seat, the bathtub helps people to get up without constraints. For toilets, those that are suspended are favorable for positioning at the desired height. It is also possible to adjust them by remote control. For optimum comfort in the bathroom, certain dimensions must be respected: – Grab bar height: between 0.70 and 0.90 m. – Mirror at a maximum of 1.05 m from the floor (or tilting mirror). – Dimension above the sink: about 0.85 m. – Underneath the sink/floor: 0.70 m minimum. – Switch height: 1 m from the floor. – Height of window handles: 1.20 m. – Height of door handles: 1.05 m. – Height of shower or bath taps: 0.40/0.50 m. – Extended shower bar (length 0,90 m). – Drawers: 0.70/1.10 m. – Low cupboards: 0.25 m from the floor. – High cupboards : 0,60/1,50 m.
The bathtub with door is also a favorable equipment for the mobility of the pmr. It is available in different models to allow users to take a bath in a sitting or lying position. The door must be waterproof and its opening must be ensured by an ergonomic handle or a push button. The best bathtub for the disabled is equipped with anti-slip walls to protect users from the risk of falling or slipping. It can also be adapted to all degrees of disability thanks to the support bars or the bathtub seat elevator.