Advertisement

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)

More About this Book

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...

Continue Learning about Physical Disabilities

Early Intervention to Stop Stuttering
Early Intervention to Stop Stuttering
What do Winston Churchill and James Earl Jones have in common besides a deep voice and a robust stature? They were both stutterers. Stuttering that l...
Read More
What conditions are seen by a speech pathologist?
Dr. Daniel R. Spogen, MDDr. Daniel R. Spogen, MD
Speech pathologists work with people who have conditions that cause difficulty with speech (hearing/...
More Answers
What sports are disability-friendly?
Challenge AmericaChallenge America
Wheelchair basketball, hand cycling, sled hockey, and swimming are the most developed adaptive sport...
More Answers
What is the difference between paraplegia and quadriplegia?
Diana MeeksDiana Meeks
Paraplegia and quadriplegia are two types of paralysis. Paralysis in the lower half of the body and ...
More Answers

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.