How can I make my bathroom sink and vanity more accessible?

For accessibility:

Install a wall-mounted sink. Not only does it give a sleek, modern appearance to your bathroom but it also maximizes knee-room below the sink. If hot-water pipes are exposed, cover them to protect knees. If you prefer the look of cabinets, install under-the-counter cabinets that let the basin extend over the edge or hardware that allows doors to slide out of the way when open.

Shallow sink basins are easier to use than a traditional deep sink. Check out “wading pool” lavatories by Kohler and other plumbing manufacturers. Consider installing dual sinks with one at a traditional height and one lower for children or people who need to sit down while grooming.

A pedestal sink stands alone and leaves more room to maneuver. Keep in mind though that most pedestal sinks do not have counterspace, which may be an issue for folks who need devices or medications as they get ready for the day.

Adjust mirrors to accommodate people of various heights:
  • Install a mirror flush to the back splash so that it is low enough for children or someone who is seated to see themselves.
  • Tip the top of a wall-mounted mirror a few inches so that someone who is short or seated can see themselves.
  • To accommodate multiple heights and abilities, install an adjustable tilt-down mirror.
  • An inexpensive alternative is to attach a telescoping mirror, found in most bath shops, that mounts to the side wall near the sink, or clamps to or sits on the top of the vanity. Their adjustable, swivel-type necks may easily be moved to various positions. Purchase one with a magnifying mirror on one side to aid those with diminished vision.
Locate the medicine cabinet on the side wall next to the sink instead of over the sink. This location provides easier access by someone in a wheelchair or with limited arm movement.

Consider installing a kitchen faucet in the bathroom. Kitchen faucets tend to be longer, reaching further over the sink. When shopping for bathroom faucets, use the closed fist test; if you can operate the faucet with a closed fist, it will be useable by most people, including those with one hand or those with limited grip or reach. Before heading to the bath center, be sure to measure the distance between the handles on your current faucet set.

Consider installing an automatic faucet or inexpensive sensor that turns the water on when your hand is underneath. Look for these at home improvement stores or order from online stores that cater to the elderly.
Home Accessibility (300 Tips for Making Life Easier)

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Home Accessibility (300 Tips for Making Life Easier)

Written by the best-selling author of Multiple Sclerosis: 300 Tips for Making Life Easier and Parkinson's Disease: 300 Tips for Making Life Easier, Home Accessibility: 300 Tips for Making Life...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.