Bathroom Safety Tips for the Disabled
Bathroom Safety Tips for the Disabled 
Bathroom safety is the number issue that must be addressed when remodeling or building a disabled bathroom for the home. Here are some of the best safety tips for home use. 

Bathroom safety for disabled bathrooms is very important for a variety of reasons. The bathroom can be one of the most difficult rooms in a home in which 
to maneuver for those who are disabled. 

It is also the room that demands the most privacy. Getting 
dressed, using the handicap toilet, showering and bathing is 
primarily done in an accessible bathroom, and creates unique 
challenges for the handicapped. 

For those who live with a disability, doing for themselves 
privately in the bathroom can be frustrating and dangerous. 

However, accessible bathrooms that have been properly 
outfitted with bathroom safety equipment, can return 
independence and a level of privacy to many people who 
are physically challenged. 

Making the Bathroom Safe

There are many issues to take into account when considering safety issues. Making the bathroom safe doesn't have to be expensive. The bathroom can be made safer by providing the proper handicap bathroom accessories:

  • lowering the water heater to under 120 degrees

Each of these cheap bathroom remodeling tips can be implemented without completely renovating the bathroom and can be done for just a few hundred dollars. All equipment can be purchased online, at medical supply stores or at big box retailers.

Other ways to make a bathroom safe is to:

  • use a pedestal bathroom sink or a handicap sink that has enough clearance under it for a wheelchair to fit

While these purchases may cost a bit more, they do ensure that disabled people can care for themselves with little or no help. 

Make the Bathroom Usable

In addition to making safety first, there are some little things that can be done to make the bathroom more accessible. These include:

  • lowering towel bars and mirrors so they can be easily reached

  • purchasing an electric toothbrush so brushing the teeth is easier

  • buying electric razors to reduce the risk of nicks and cuts when shaving

  • mounting a hairdryer on the wall so that a person can sit under it, rather than hold it

These little modifications make it possible for a person to brush his or her own teeth, shave alone, look in the mirror to check his or her appearance and dry his or her own hair. 

Other steps that can be taken in bathrooms for the disabled include refraining from using oily hair products in handicap bathtubs. These products can cause a film to build up on the surface, making it very slippery. Also, be sure to wrap all water pipes with insulation, so that there is no risk of getting burned. 

Bathroom Clothing

The clothing that is worn in the bathroom can be just as important as safety accessories and fixtures that are installed. Because most bathroom floors have a slick surface, only non-skid socks like those used in a hospital should be worn. Otherwise, house slippers with non-skid soles should be used. This is especially important when addressing elderly bathroom safety issues. 

Nightgowns and pajamas should be the proper length and should not drag the floor, nor should robes. This eliminates the possibility of tripping on a long hem. 

The necessary safety issues can often be addressed when the proper fixtures and accessories are installed and used properly. When possible, look for those that are marked ADA compliant. Always ask the disabled person who will be using the bathroom, what will make his or her life easier. There are generally helpful solutions to any problem that may arise. 

Also, consult a healthcare professional or check the ADA bathroom requirements for even more ideas on bathroom safety for the disabled. 

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by Mary Jo Peterson
Disabled Bathrooms
Disabled Bathrooms Pro

Best Disabled Bathroom Designs, Renovation Tips & Products