Wheelchairs and Bathrooms

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Do I need to modify my bathroom for wheelchair use?

Wheelchairs and Bathrooms

The most important room in the house is also the one you may have the hardest time occupying—the bathroom. Depressed showers, narrow toilets, sinks that are too high.

If you can't move or don't want to move from your dream home—you weren't planning, after all, to be in a wheelchair—you can adapt. Some whiz-kid (pardon the bathroom humor) ideas for making your bathroom more wheel chair accessible:

• If your shower is wheelchair accessible, try a shower chair if you need assistance from an in-home health care worker or family member.

• If your shower has a drop, install a rubber threshold ramp—just be sure to dry it off so you don't slip.

• Wheel chairs are a temporary thing for you, and you're not about to widen your doorways. If you can walk, use a cane to get into the enclosed toilet.

• Install a pedestal sink if your wheelchair can't be adjusted and you can't see the mirror when you're doing your morning shave or facial scrub. Or choose a wheelchair with recline, tilt, and raise options. An inflated air cushion may also help.

• Sore from sitting too long? A toilet air cushion may help.

• Turn off your electric wheelchair when washing up--after all, water and electricity don't mix.

Now you can take forever in the bathroom because you're fixing your makeup, not because you're struggling to get to the commode.



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