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How can I make my bathroom more accessible?

Here are some tips for making your bathroom more accessible:
  • Give yourself plenty of room to be comfortable. Generally, you need a 5-foot radius to turn a wheelchair around, so the more room you can create the better.
  • Widen aisles by getting things off the floor; get rid of anything that is not necessary -- scales, hamper, floor racks, and so on.
  • Open up closets and cabinets. Removing doors from closets and replacing cabinets with open shelves, set back from the edge of the countertop, will give you a few extra inches to maneuver while making sinks and storage areas more easily accessible.
  • For ease of use, the toilet should be located 18 inches from the side wall, with 2 feet of clear space on the other side to allow for transfers or assistance. When one side of your body is weaker than the other, use a configuration that feels safer and more comfortable for you.
  • Entry doors should open to the outside to give you maximum room to move. If the door opens into a narrow hallway, consider replacing it with a pocket door. To avoid expensive remodeling -- tearing out and replacing the wall to mount the door inside -- hang the door hardware on the wall outside of the bathroom. To keep a pocket door from sliding all the way into the wall, screw a C-shaped cabinet handle (that your fingers can easily slip into) to the far edge of the door.
  • If you are unable to reconfigure the bathroom door, remove it and use a shower curtain rod and shower curtain to give you privacy.
  • Reduce falling hazards with nonskid tile. Tile is impervious to water, easy to clean, and easier to move on for the wheelchair user. Nonskid tiles have a special coating that creates a higher friction rate than noncoated tiles. Nonskid coatings are also available to apply to your current flooring; ask about them at your local tile, bath, or home improvement store.
  • Make the entire bathroom a “wet room.” Consider mounting tile to the walls as well as floors, making the entire bathroom impervious to water. Doing so makes the room easy to clean and maintain.
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.