Where Beauty and Function Meet

Mobility Makeover Magic

RENOVATION LOCATION: Bathroom

Due to moisture and dampness, the bathroom can be one of the most dangerous rooms in the house. Making a bathroom accessible — first and foremost — is an issue of safety. But with bath safety products no longer looking institutional, an accessible bathroom now can be a thing of beauty.

Is it magic? Turning a regular bathroom into a mobility makeover bathroom would look something like this:

  • Space is included for the knees, toes and footrest of a person in a wheelchair.
  • The doorway into the bathroom is a minimum of 34" wide.
  • Under the sink is a clearance space of 27".
  • The shower stall does not have a lip and is curbless.
  • Floors have a no-skid finish and are slip-resistant.
  • Since showers can be dark when curtains or doors are closed, waterproof light fixtures brighten things up a bit.
  • A toilet paper holder has one end mounted to the wall to facilitate replacing the toilet paper with one hand.
  • A handheld shower and grab bars are installed.
  • Open storage offers ease of use for toiletries and medicines.
  • Casement windows (the easiest kind to use) offer natural lighting, making a bathroom aesthetically pleasing.
  • A portable self-illuminated mirror on top of the vanity helps wheelchair users who cannot get close enough to a wall mirror.
  • Light and fan switches are installed away from water sources.
  • Products are moisture-resistant and easy to clean.
  • Shelves are installed at eye level to wheelchair users.
  • Towel racks are in close proximity to showers and sinks so wheelchair users can dry their hands before propelling their chairs.
  • Elevated toilet seats are available.
  • Transfer benches are used or a bathtub is installed with a wide perch.

Make Function and Beauty With Products That Work


Make Function and Beauty With Products That Work

The Folding Mesh Shower Seat by Home Care by Moen is ADA compliant, weighs less than 4 lbs. and folds to just 2" in width. A handheld shower holder can accommodate most standard handheld showers; (800) 882-0116, www.homecare.moen.com

Invacare's Transfer Bench features Microban International's antimicrobial technology designed to provide added resistance to mold, mildew, stains and odors by preventing bacteria. The technology is intended to make surfaces easier to maintain and keep clean; (800) 333-6900, www.invacare.com

Adepta's Transfer Bench features round ends making transfers easier. The seat is 19x30" wide with adjustable seat heights and legs with extra-wide feet for stability. Comes in a variety of muted spa-like colors; (866) 623-3782, www.adeptamedical.com

The DuraGlide from Duralife is an adjustable level glide bath and commode transfer system designed to be used with any standard tub. DuraGlide eliminates the need for heavy lifting and awkward transfers. When attached to the adjustable tub rails, the seat rolls into the tub for bathing or showering. The DuraGlide is equipped with four locking 5" casters, has swing-away arms and comes standard with a waterfall open front padded seat, safety belt and retractable footrest; (800) 443-5433, www.duralife-usa.com

This article originally appeared in the July 2006 issue of Mobility Management.

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